In a world striving for inclusivity and acceptance, it’s imperative that support services like the Samaritans are equipped with the right tools and knowledge to assist everyone, regardless of their abilities. Disabled people face unique physical and emotional challenges that require specialised care and understanding, especially when it comes to suicide and suicidal ideation.
Support services are lifelines for many, offering a safe space for individuals to share their struggles and seek help. However, when it comes to those with disabilities, there are nuances that often go overlooked. These individuals may face daily hurdles that can exacerbate feelings of isolation, depression, or anxiety.
Communication is key, and having trained professionals who understand the specific needs of disabled people is crucial. For instance, individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing may require alternative means of communication, such as sign language or text-based services. Likewise, people with vision impairments or low vision may need information presented in accessible formats, such as Braille or through assistive technologies.
Empathy is at the core of any successful support service. Understanding the unique challenges faced by disabled people fosters a deeper connection and allows for more effective assistance. Whether it’s providing emotional support, crisis intervention, or practical advice, a tailored approach ensures that no one is left behind.
Furthermore, specialised training can help support services navigate the complexities of mental health issues intertwined with disabilities. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone, including those with disabilities, often in different ways. A nuanced understanding of these intersections is crucial for offering effective support.
By investing in specialised training for dealing with disabled people, support services send a powerful message of inclusivity and accessibility. It demonstrates a commitment to serving every individual, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities. This approach enhances the quality of care and reduces the stigma associated with seeking help.
We discussed the support received by disabled people with:
– Nick Wilson, Disability Expo Ambassador, Disabled Adventurer, Speaker, Suicide Survivor, Disability advocate
– Jade Godier, CEO and Founder, Disability Expo / RISE
– Kris Foster, Founder, Open Book
– Trina Senese, Disability Advocate
in a podcast moderated by Chandy Green, Community Relations and Ambassador Lead for Disability Expo.
Some of the other topics we touched upon:
– Why three times more men and four times more women with a disability die by suicide, as opposed to their non-disabled counterparts. Is it as simple as it being due to the associated symptoms with their conditions and the impact on them mentally, or is it more complicated – such as lack of support, isolation, purpose, and social care?
– What support is available and is there something specifically for disabled people if they experience suicidal ideation?
Watch the full discussion below: