Gary quote

Homelessness and suicide

2nd March 2021 | Stories, Homelessness, London, Views | 0 comments

“I was in the gutter, but look where I am now!”

“I’m so grateful for the help I was given when I was in the gutter. I’m so glad to have a roof over my head. I was suicidal and at my lowest, but look where I am right now – in my own private flat! Thanks to you all.” Gary

Gary quote

Gary’s not alone in having seriously contemplated suicide. According to a 2018 US study, there is an increased desire to commit suicide among those caught in homelessness.

It is well documented that a general hopelessness can be the breeding ground for suicidal thoughts. Add to this the sense of not belonging anywhere and feeling a burden on those around you or those trying to help you, plus feeling estranged from supportive family relationships and you have a traumatising cocktail.

On one brief look at statistics for suicide and homelessness links threw up concerning statistics. Gary was one of many street homeless who are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than a similar demographic with a home. In fact the stats show that more than half of the people experiencing homelessness have either attempted or committed suicide.

Street homeless face daily trauma, just for daily survival… just for basic needs. The main risk factors of suicide are:

Depression, Mental Illness, Anxiety and Stress, Family Conflict, Isolation and Loneliness, Domestic or Sexual Abuse, Unemployment, Alcohol or Drug Use, Previous Suicide Attempts, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Gary and many of JCT clients can tick every one of these. Now Gary is in a much better place, He is hopeful that, with a flat to call his own, he can begin to work through his other issues.

To see the study and more resources on the link between homelessness and suicide check these links.

https://nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/suicide-fact-sheet.pdf

https://blog.ons.gov.uk/2018/12/20/ons-reveals-the-number-of-people-dying-homeless/

https://www.samaritans.org/news/suicide-second-most-common-cause-death-homeless-people-ons-stats-show/

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