September is National Suicide Prevention Month worldwide. GibSams is running a campaign to spread awareness throughout the month, launching on the 1st September under the banner of “Let’s Get Gibraltar Talking”. Other events include The Chatty Cafe Scheme, Green Week, the Maurice Coelho Cup, a Night of Magic from Levi Attias, a charity quiz night and, as the grand finale to close the month of awareness, a concert in Casemates on the 29th September showcasing the amazing local musical talent we have in Gibraltar, writes Brenda Cuby.
GibSams is a member of Befrienders Worldwide, an international organisation that includes members such as The Samaritans in the UK and similar charities in other countries. The service offers callers an anonymous and confidential Freephone service. Trained volunteers are there to take your calls and listen without prejudice. Callers can call 116123 Monday to Friday 4pm to Midnight and on Saturday and Sunday from 7pm to Midnight. The volunteers are not there to offer you advice, but to offer you an empathetic listening ear when you most need one.
Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
“Let’s Get Gibraltar Talking” is one of the initiatives being launched on the 1st September. GibSams wants to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide, replacing it with a greater understanding and placing the emphasis on mental wellbeing. Young or old, everyone at some point will encounter someone who needs a helping hand or a friend to just listen to them. “It’s ok to talk” and “it’s ok not to be ok” are statements which GibSams use in their awareness campaigns to get the message across.
The second initiative that GibSams is launching on the 1st September is The Chatty Cafe Scheme. Restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels are joining this venture in creating a space in their establishment for those people who wish to talk to others when having a drink or something to eat. For those establishments wanting to join the scheme, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Green week launches from the 1st to the 7th September and GibSams will be busy raising awareness of their service and the importance of mental wellness. Five things that companies can encourage their staff to start doing to improve mental wellness within an organisation are:
Mindfulness – The importance of learning to be consciously present and aware, as opposed to being on autopilot, cannot be overstated.
Input the Positive – What you take in from your environment matters a great deal to your emotional well-being, because it stays active in your subconscious mental space for a period, even after the event is long over.
Self-Compassion – One of the most foundational elements of emotional well-being is self-compassion. Without it, you cannot find true happiness.
Loving Others – When we show love and compassion to other people, it releases chemicals in the pre-frontal cortex and reward centre of the brain that professionals refer to as the “Helper’s High.”
Physical Wellness – The body cannot be separated from the mind. As a result, it is difficult to experience mental well-being if you do not take care of yourself physically.
Companies are encouraged to sign up for Green Day on the 7th September, asking their staff members to wear green and spread awareness on the Friday at work.
Join GibSams at The Piazza on the 1st September, where they will be joined by other charities and not for profit organisations who are all working together for the betterment of mental welfare in Gibraltar, or to offer practical assistance to those who need help in our community.
To be a part of Team Sam and help, you can train to be a listening volunteer or just be a part of their events team. Email for more information If you are interested in joining our Team