Working together to prevent suicide this World Suicide Prevention Day

Happy? Ok? Sad?
If you need help or advice, visit www.happyoksad.org.uk
Published: Friday, 7th September 2018

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) takes place Monday 10 September 2018.

In the lead up to WSPD, Warrington Borough Council is teaming up with NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group and local NHS mental health provider North West Boroughs Healthcare to ask local people to reach out to those who may be struggling to cope.

This year’s theme ‘working together to prevent suicide’ highlights the role we all have in preventing suicide. By simply asking someone how they are and listening without judgement, we can all help to save lives.

Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 45 and they are three times more likely to take their own life than women. They are also less likely to seek help for mental health problems.

In a 2017 survey carried out by Warrington Borough Council, of the 586 men who responded, 75% thought it was unlikely that men they know would go to see their GP if they were feeling down.

The council’s In Your Corner campaign encourages men to step in, if someone they know is acting differently and to:

  • Text, call and reach out
  • Listen without judging
  • Be themselves and do everyday things

These three simple steps can make a big difference in helping to prevent suicide.

Cllr Pat Wright, executive board member for statutory health and adult social care, said: “World Suicide Prevention Day reminds us that, behind the statistics, there are individual stories of those people who have questioned the value of their own lives. Taking a minute to reach out to someone, whether they are a close family member, friend, or even a complete stranger, can change the course of their life.

“We know the devastating effects suicide has on families and communities and I would encourage everyone to consider, if you have a friend or family member you have been concerned about, take a minute to talk to them about how they are feeling and support them to access help.”

Simon Hammond, Commissioning Manager for Mental Health, Dementia and Learning Disabilities at NHS Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We can all play our part in looking out for each other and start these conversations to listen to the important things our friends, family or colleagues need to share. A simple ‘how are you feeling?’ to someone you’re concerned about could make the world of difference.

“Reassuring someone that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but that talking to someone when they have suicidal thoughts or feelings is in fact the strongest thing they can do, is a vital aspect of us all working together to tackle the stigma associated with this sensitive subject.”

Mike Kenny, Assistant Director for Warrington at North West Boroughs Healthcare said: “This World Suicide Prevention Day, we are teaming up with our local partners to send a strong message to people in Warrington that we all have a role to play in preventing suicide.

“Help is available from local mental health services but the first step to getting help is often opening up to someone close to you about how you are feeling. If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them and ask them how they are doing. It could save a life.”

The council’s public health team is also encouraging people who live or work in Warrington to complete ‘Let’s Talk’ – an online suicide prevention training session, developed by the Zero Suicide Alliance.

The free training is open to everyone and aims to help people feel confident approaching someone they’re concerned about. It only takes 20 minutes to complete.

You can find information about local mental health support services on www.happyoksad.org.uk, Warrington’s mental health awareness site. The services listed offer support to people who feel suicidal, and to people who have been bereaved by suicide.

If you are finding it hard to cope, are feeling desperate or are having thoughts of suicide, talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, a family member, or your GP. Alternatively you could call Warrington Assessment Team on 01925 666 647, 24 hours a day. The Assessment Team is for people 18 and over with moderate to severe symptoms of mental health problems.

For more information about what to do in a mental health crisis, visit:
www.nwbh.nhs.uk/help-in-a-crisis

You can also call the Samaritans free on 116 123, PAPYRUS HOPELine UK (for young people) on 0800 068 41 41, or CALM (for men) on 0800 58 58 58.

These three charities support people who are struggling, feeling suicidal or who are worried about a friend or family member.