Staying Safe in Difficult Times



T/W suicide, distress


No-one should feel like the world would be a better place without them.


Yet, as you read this, many find themselves wrestling with these exact thoughts – feelings so

intense and overwhelming, they seem the only escape. Feelings that are invisible to families and friends.


Young people today still grow up in a society that prevents them from expressing their true

emotions for fear of weakness, shame and vulnerability. When concerns are raised and these

young people are asked to reach out, most simply don’t know how.


Many deaths caused by mental illness and intense distress can be prevented. However, there is no easy solution, especially in the complex and uncertain times in which we live. Currently, the onus is placed on those in need to recognise their distress and reach out for help. Then, when they make the brave decision to do so, mental health provisions often fall short, leaving them to navigate their concerns on their own.


This has to change.


It is our collective responsibility to make sure that each and every person feels safe, heard and truly valued.


While systemic failures can feel beyond our control, platitudes and voiced frustrations do little to make significant and lasting change. Our habit of sharing numbers for helplines on social media and encouraging others to reach out certainly makes a difference, but still places the responsibility on the person in distress.


From now on, we encourage you to take the lead. Remain hopeful, remain considerate, and take pride in the changes that you can make in your community.


Here are our suggestions:


1. Be proactive, and trust your judgement.

  • If something feels out of character, check in.

2. Pay attention to the words you use.

  • You don’t need to know exactly what to say, but always be considerate, empathetic, and kind.

3. Educate yourself.

  • There are some brilliant social media resources out there. We recommend @howmental, @anxietyjosh and @josh_ffw.

4. Find and go along to one of PROJECT:TALK’s talks and workshops, helping us all support each other.

  • Keep an eye out on our social media to find out what’s on offer.

5. Check out stayingsafe.net – we’ll be running a workshop on keeping each other safe soon,

using this resource.

  • Check out the amazing work by our friends at Suicide Prevention Bristol, at www.spbristol.org. Can you help out?

~ George, PROJECT:TALK Co-Founder



If you're a University of Bristol student and could do with a chat, head to

www.projecttalk.org.uk/bristol-peer-support. We're listening. If you're outside of Bristol, head to wellbeingandcoping.net.


If you feel unsafe, go to stayingsafe.net, call 111 and in an emergency always call 999.

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