September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Local Charity GibSams are launching two new initiatives to promote suicide prevention awareness and to change the conversation from suicide to suicide prevention.

GibSams went live last October. The service offers callers an anonymous and confidential Freephone service. Trained volunteers are there to take your calls and listen without prejudice. Callers can phone 116123 Monday to Friday from 4pm-midnight and on Saturday and Sunday from 7pm-midnight.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is our chance to stop and assess ourselves and those around us and to make sure someone who desperately needs our help isn’t missing out.

The first initiative, Let’s Get Gibraltar Talking, will launch on the 1st September with an event at The Piazza. GibSams believe that if we can break the stigma surrounding mental health and get everyone talking, we can improve mental wellbeing for all. Whether you are young or old, male or female, at some point in our lives we will all feel sad, depressed, lonely and scared for what the future may hold or events that are taking place in our daily lives. This is the time for us to reach out to others and say it’s “OK not to be OK” or it’s “OK to talk”.

GibSams are collaborating with other charities and voluntary organisations to showcase the services which are available locally to our community with an Awareness Day on the 1st September, running from 10:00 -2:00pm. We will be there to help those in need and spread the message of hope.

The second initiative is the Chatty Café scheme, which was launched in the UK to great success and which we are now rolling it out in Gibraltar. Local establishments are offering up a ‘Chatter Natter’ table at different times and days that will have the Chatty Cafe information on the table. When you sit down at a Chatter Natter table, you are agreeing to chat with others sitting at that table at the same time. Any cafes, bars, restaurants wishing to take part in this scheme should email info@gibsams.gi for more information.

Other events planned for the month of September include Green Week, running from the 1st to the 7th September, with Green Day taking place this year on the 7th September. We are asking companies and individuals to wear green for the day to show their support for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. GibSams are looking to close the month of awareness with a very special open concert in Casemates, with local musicians of different genre taking part.

Let’s Get Gibraltar Talking and make a positive difference to our community. Use the hashtags #letsgetgibraltartalking or #itsoktotalk when using social media platforms to share the love and open the communication channels.