Some photo impressions of Ana Meija - MR Bogota, who organized food packages to the families in Ciudad Bolivar. With the donation of the Schinzler Foundation 313 vulnerable families were helped with a complete food package.

Ana Meija1 Ana Meija2 Ana Meija3<

On the trail1A Munich Re employee Alicja Nocon and her partner Luke have hiked for ten days across the West Highland Way, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2019), in order to raise awareness of suicide and mental health along with the much needed funds for accessing mental health help. In the time it took them to start and complete our journey, 180 more people in the UK would have chosen to end their lives.

As a male who is aged under 45 and living in the UK, the most likely reason that Luke will die is if he commits suicide. All external causes of death are less deadly than he is, potentially, to himself. However, suicide is not only a male issue, with female suicide rates in the UK rising and more women attempting suicide than men.

Suicide is a complex issue and every case is unique, yet each one devastates families, loved ones and communities. Alicja experienced this first-hand, when a member of her family took his own life in June 2012.

When I realised that my planned hike across Hadrian's Wall coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day (10th September), I wanted to dedicate my walk to raising awareness of mental health, suicide in particular – a cause close to my heart.

Suicide is not just a statistic – it affects real people, friends and family. When contemplating my upcoming walk, my thoughts turned to my own personal experience with suicide. My extended uncle Marian, took his own life in 2012 and a dear colleague of mine, whose son sadly took his own life shortly after his 18th birthday. Earlier this year, during my first trip to the US, TV screens were constantly blaring, showing shocking statistics of the US suicide rate, which has increased by 30% since 2000 – what happened to the American Dream?