Suicide prevention: the small actions that can make a big difference | St. David

Suicide Prevention: The Small Actions That Can Make A Big Difference
Suicide prevention: the small actions that can make a big difference | St. David 4

Do the little things, or gwnewch y pethau bychain, is a proverb attributed to St. David, the patron saint of Wales. But what significance does a sixth-century monk’s counsel have in 2023?

Nowadays, taking care of the simple things is crucial when thinking about our mental health. Together with treating mental illness, it can have an impact on maintaining happiness and preventing sickness.

When several minor things are combined, they can have a significant overall impact even though one small thing may not have a deciding impact. One example is abstaining from alcohol each day. While having a drink may help you feel at ease, regular alcohol will eventually make you feel sad.

Also must be avoided are excessive gambling and recreational drug use. On the other hand, regular exercise and scheduling downtime are good for our mental health.

Treating mental illness also involves doing the little things. People can recover from mental illness with the aid of medication and therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy. They are not, however, always sufficient on their own because of their lack of effectiveness. They are probably most effective when they take place in the context of a reliable doctor-patient relationship.

Human traits routinely outrank technical skills when patients are asked what they appreciate in a doctor. Relationship variables are significant in medicine, according to research. This holds true for all aspects of healthcare, including psychotherapy as well as pharmaceutical and physical therapy.

Even while human connection may seem insignificant, it might affect how effectively a treatment works. Placebo effects are potent, and they are not only a result of deluding yourself into thinking that placebo pills work. The positive qualities of a therapeutic interaction can all contribute to the effects of a placebo.

Suicide is a tragic occurrence that, in the UK context, is frequently associated with mental illness. Although it is crucial to treat those who have mental illnesses to avert avoidable deaths, there are limits to how effectively this can lower the overall suicide rate.

Regrettably, receiving mental health therapy may not always prevent someone from committing suicide. Regardless, a lot of suicide fatalities take place without the person ever obtaining assistance. However, some people who commit suicide are not at all mentally unwell.

Nevertheless, suicide can be avoided. Suicide rates can be decreased by taking steps like making it more difficult for people to access the methods of suicide. There was a discernible influence on mortality when limits were placed on the quantity of paracetamol tablets that may be purchased.

It is anticipated that changes in the unemployment rate, particularly among men, will have an impact on suicide rates. Suicide rates climb along with unemployment rates. Suicide rates decrease when economic conditions are improving and fewer individuals are living in poverty.

Both the elimination of unemployment and the complete restriction of access to paracetamol are not required. Major advancements can be made by combining sets of smaller actions, each of which is known to have a distinct but constrained effect. Without searching for a singular, unattainable perfect solution, lives can be saved.

I’ve worked in the mental health field for 42 years and have witnessed numerous medical advancements being announced. Excessive claims have been made about new drugs, genetic discoveries, and innovative methods like transcranial magnetic stimulation. None of them have succeeded in transforming mental health treatment as promised.

Several methods have received so much attention that other treatments are being crowded out. In the event that they prove to have limitations, this breeds pessimism. The newest illustration is awareness. It serves a purpose, but not everyone or every situation can be solved by it.

Continue reading: The issue with mindfulness

The issue with focusing too much on finding the one remarkable discovery is that it diverts attention from effectively putting into practise what we already know works. When combined, these flawed but useful smaller strategies can have a profoundly positive impact on people’s lives.

Several of these are not the purview of psychologists or psychiatrists. These include social interaction, a purposeful role, outings and activities where people with mental illnesses are not stigmatised or excluded from society.

The everyday things we do matter. So let’s “do the little things” as St. David advised.
In his St. David’s Day speech, Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people to “come together and enjoy Wales.”

In addition, Mr. Drakeford mentioned that Wales is a “country of sanctuary,” having taken in more than 6,400 Ukrainian refugees in the year since the commencement of the conflict there.

He also discussed his goals for a “net zero Wales” and praised Cymraeg, the nation’s distinctive language (Welsh).

Welsh speakers declined by over 24,000 between 2011 and 2021, according to the Census figures, prompting the Welsh Conservatives to urge on the Welsh government to do more to promote the use of Welsh in everyday contexts.

In order to meet its goal of one million Welsh speakers by 2050, a significant increase from the estimated 538,300 in 2021, the Welsh government claims to have strategies in place to enhance the daily use of Welsh.

There are parades, concerts, and Eisteddfodau happening on Wednesday in schools and towns throughout Wales (festivals of song and arts which also include competitions).

For the day of St. David’s Day, Cadw, the organisation in charge of maintaining many of Wales’ ancient structures, has offered free admission to locations including Raglan and Beaumaris Castles.


According to legend, St. David was born in a storm on a clifftop in Pembrokeshire in the year 500.

There are currently the remnants of Non’s Chapel, which was founded by his mother Saint. Non.

There is a holy well nearby that some believe has magical healing abilities.

St. David is credited with saving his instructor Paulinus’ sight while he was teaching him.

In accordance with another legend, St. David preached to a crowd in a field in Llanddewi Brefi.

The people in the back claimed they were unable to hear what he was saying as the ground rose beneath him seemingly by magic.

Former Wales secretary Sir Robert Buckland joined the chorus of those calling for St. David’s Day to be declared a bank holiday.

On Wednesday, the search engine will likely display a newly designed logo in honour of St. David’s Day.


But, St. David is more than just a historical or mythical person; for many people who observe St. David’s Day, his advice and teachings are still applicable today.

Do the little things, or “Gwnewch y pethau bychain,” is a reminder that people in Wales and elsewhere will take to heart as they honour their patron saint once more.