Highlighting the importance of World Suicide Prevention Day
Every year, World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) is an awareness event that organisations worldwide seek to handle with the utmost care, balancing the need to highlight the issue with the very delicate realisation that it is something that has often been very close to home.
It is no different for EPIC, with a number of our staff having shared the admission that they either considered or attempted to take their own life at their lowest point in their struggles with problem gambling.
It is therefore a poignant day in the calendar for so many members of our team, reflecting on how circumstances thankfully aligned to ensure that the worst case scenario didn't occur.
As our harm prevention manager Craig Cornforth has bravely explained this year, it can take something completely unexpected to change a mindset that suicide was the only option to bring an end to problems that affect both the individual and those around them.
Having seen his home, job and relationship lost in the aftermath of the most destructive period of problem gambling in his life, he had planned to take his own life in a local park.
However, the intervention he needed came in the form of his pet dog, who he had taken with him. As he explains in a moving video, it was only when he came to the realisation that he would be unable to get home without him, that he didn't go through with his intentions, and has now, over time, been able to find recovery and put his negative experiences to positive use in his new role for EPIC.
Please watch Craig's video to gain a full understanding of the circumstances that led him to contemplate suicide, how his family reached out to him in his time of need, and how he now expresses his relief that his intended course of action was interrupted in the most poignant fashion.
Please, however, be aware, that to provide the full explanation of his actions, the concept of suicide ideation features heavily in the video, and if you have been personally affected by suicide (or an attempted suicide), we advise the appropriate caution before watching.
The most important point of note that we hope readers and viewers will take away from our World Suicide Prevention Day coverage is that there is always help out there if you need it.
Organisations who specialise in help for financial, mental health or gambling-related issues can be easily found and contacted via the support section of our website, and if their purpose resonates with the situation that you (or somebody close to you) are currently in, please don't hesitate to pick up the phone or send an email in search of a more positive outcome.