Pride events across the UK are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community without exception, allowing thousands of people to feel proud of who they are and come together to celebrate love, friendship and respect.

PAPYRUS is joining in this celebration of community at several Pride events across the UK to help raise awareness that there is help for anyone who is struggling with thoughts of suicide.

With recent studies indicating that those from the LGBT+ community are more vulnerable to experiencing thoughts of suicide, we believe it is important to let you know that our HOPELINEUK advisers are here to provide a safe space to speak up about these in confidence.

Our trained suicide prevention advisers are non-judgemental and regularly speak to people from a variety of backgrounds and life circumstances. HOPELINEUK aims to support people to keep safe from suicide and we work with every unique caller collaboratively to achieve this.

PAPYRUS fully supports Pride and the LGBTQ+ community. To us, it’s an amazing demonstration of people coming together to support each other no matter who they are. Thousands of people attend events across the UK, when we asked what Pride meant to them, this is what they said:

“If you’d have asked me 10 years ago what Pride meant to me I probably would have just said one word: Party! I was young, carefree and cocky when I attended my first couple of Pride events at the age of 19; I had the time of my life but I was naive, with little to no knowledge about how Pride started and why we still needed it beyond an excuse for a weekend-long booze-up-Fast-forward 10 years and my immediate answer to that same question is Protest! Pride began as a protest and, for me at least, it remains one and is the reason why I attend Pride and will continue to do so in the years to come.”

“Pride is a safe space where I can be 100% me without worrying about someone making an offensive comment or giving a dirty look for holding my wife’s hand. It’s our chance to say “we’re here, we’re queer, and we have no fear!” I think it’s really important not only to remember the struggles that those that came before us went through to guarantee the legal rights we have today, but also to remind the world that there is still a long way to go. Lastly, I think the visibility at Pride is so important for young people that might be questioning their gender or sexuality – for them to see people that have been through that and come out (no pun intended) on the other side is invaluable. And for me, that’s why it’s so important that organisations like PAPYRUS are visible at Pride – it sends the message that they are an organisation that doesn’t discriminate, but also gets the word out about the support they offer in a community where it is so needed.”

“Pride immediately highlights to me community! No exclusions, no judgements, just pure love and acceptance! And that is something to be proud of!”

“Declaring to the world that it does not matter to me how someone identifies, and that I will support an inclusive society where people are free to be themselves without persecution or hostility.”

We are so happy to be part of these events and see the pride, sense of belonging and happiness they bring to people. However, we are aware that there are still things that need to change. Being LGBTQ+ is not wrong, nor is it a crime or something to be punished for – sadly these views are still held by some, and they can have a direct impact on people’s mental health and well-being. We are here to challenge those views, to say that there is nothing wrong or abnormal with being LGBTQ+.

Due to prejudice and stigma, the LGBTQ+ community can be more vulnerable to thoughts of suicide.

On HOPELINEUK we receive calls from young people that are feeling isolated, alone and judged, all feelings we understand can particularly affect the LGBTQ+ community. With suicide being the biggest killer of young people in the UK this is something that needs to change!

If you are from the LGBT+ community and you have been thinking about suicide for any reason – you don’t have to cope with these thoughts alone. There is help and there is hope; even if right now it may not feel that way for you. Contact HOPELINEUK for confidential advice and practical support.

We’re also here to offer support for professionals or concerned others who might be worried that someone they know is thinking about suicide.

Please come and say “hi” to us at any of the Pride events we are joining. We welcome anyone that wants to say hello, talk or find out more info.

(To read more on Pride visit the DinocornLife blog)

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