CREATIVE use of tattoos has transformed the way Jessica King feels about herself.

Jessica, 27, has suffered with her mental health since she was a teenager, and had scars on her inner arms from self-harming. But she now has a beautiful pattern of vines and leaves instead of scars.

“It is amazing. I have been completely different and can go outside without long sleeves. It has given me a new lease of life,” she says. “Something beautiful on these areas makes me not want to self-harm again.”

Jessica’s mental ill health has included making suicide attempts and spending time in hospital, with a month in Lynfield Mount in Bradford last year after the stress of losing her business was a trigger.

Jessica shared her experiences for World Suicide Prevention Day, which was yesterday, after benefiting from therapeutic sessions at Mind in Bradford, particularly the art group. It is just one of a range of Well-Being services based at Kenburgh House, Manor Row, which include women’s groups, men’s groups, music, peer support and talking groups.

Hava Tanveer, of Mind in Bradford, who has been running art therapy sessions, says: “Art therapy helps people to create relationships and improve social skills as well as their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing.

“It’s a relaxed, fun, non-intrusive way of exploring emotions and fears, identifying dreams, looking forward to the future and improving self-esteem, in a safe, friendly environment.”

Jessica, of Heaton, runs a small business on Facebook, making dreamcatchers. She finds it therapeutic and it gives her chance to be creative. Some of the profits from each one sold goes to Mind in Bradford. Jessica says the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (Wrap) sessions, where she has developed and created her own resources for improving and maintaining better mental health, has been a “life-saver.”

Her tattoo, created by Skinflicted tattoo salon in Keighley, also includes the semi-colon design - ; - used by suicide survivors, denoting the idea that your life is not over yet.

Figures from the World Suicide Prevention Day campaign show that suicide is the 15th leading cause of death globally, with 800,000 people dying by suicide annually. With an average of 135 people affected by each suicide death, this equates to 108 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year - and relatives and close friends of those who die in this way are a high-risk group for suicide themselves.

In Bradford, events to support World Suicide Prevention Day and its aim of preventing suicide included a Remembrance session, giving people who have lost a loved one to suicide time to come together and remember them. Bradford Cathedral was open for people to light a candle, joining many others across the world who lit candles last night in a show of support.

Figures from Bradford Public Health’s Suicide Audit report for 2013-2015 show there were 76 suicides in the Bradford district alone, more than three-quarters of them men, and there are about 30-40 every year in Bradford.

Mind in Bradford’s mission is to help more people in more places. Its work includes the Guide-Line telephone helpline, offering a confidential service from trained staff, support, information and crisis support, available every day from 12-9pm on (01274) 594594.

Helen Davey, chief executive at Mind in Bradford, says depression can hit anyone at any time, and it is important to recognise that help is there. Many people feel unsure about discussing suicide, but Mind offers tips on ways you might help someone with suicidal feelings:

*Encourage them to talk about their feelings

*Encourage them to seek treatment and support

*Offer emotional support

*Offer practical support

*Help them to think of ideas for self-help

*Remove things which someone could use to harm themselves

*Help them to make a support plan

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For help in crisis, contact First Response, for residents of Bradford, Craven, Airedale and Wharfedale, on (01274) 221181, 24 hours a day. Haven, based at the Cellar project in Shipley, and Sanctuary, at Mind in Bradford, offer safe spaces for people in crisis and referrals are made by contacting First Response.