Warrington Borough Council, working together with local partner organisations, is encouraging people to get help if they need it during lockdown.

People are being reminded that help and support is still available for those in crisis, despite the lockdown restrictions – and it’s important to ask for help if you, or someone you know, is struggling to cope.

Members of Warrington’s suicide prevention partnership board are encouraging people to focus on preventing suicide as part of Men’s Health Week and beyond, as 75% of people who take their own lives are men. 

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “We believe that suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility. We also believe that by listening without judgement, educating ourselves and others, challenging stigma and working together, we can all help to save lives.”

“The coronavirus pandemic and enforced lockdown has affected us all. Most people are likely to be feeling stressed or anxious and it’s ok to feel vulnerable and overwhelmed, especially if you are affected by mental health problems, or if you have a long-term physical health condition which makes you more vulnerable to the effects of the coronavirus. 

“It is more important than ever that we look after our mental wellbeing and encourage others to do the same. Try and reassure people you know who may be worried. Offering to listen can make a big difference, and we need to ensure we’re doing all we can to keep ourselves and others healthy.

Steve Cullen, manager of Warrington Citizen’s Advice Bureau and chair of Warrington’s suicide prevention partnership board, said: “We are working alongside other councils and organisations across Cheshire and Merseyside as part of a ‘zero suicide strategy’. This ambitious and innovative strategy aims to connect people, to raise awareness of suicide and create the momentum for change across the region.

“It’s well known that men are more likely to die by suicide, than women. In Warrington, we want to make sure that men get the information, advice and support they need, and that they feel comfortable accessing. Whether it’s information to maintain their mental wellbeing, support to recover if they are experiencing mental health problems, or advice to give to someone else who needs support, we’re keen men know what’s available and how to find it.”

There are some simple steps everyone can take to get involved and help make a difference. These include:

  • Taking one of the Zero Suicide Alliance’s free, online, suicide prevention sessions
  • Downloading and familiarising yourself with the Stay Alive App, which includes details of support services in Warrington
  • Sharing information on social media about suicide prevention services, such as Samaritans, PAPYRUS and CALM

There are lots of support services available to help if you, or someone you know, is struggling with mental health problems. A dedicated crisis helpline is available to offer urgent mental health support, 24/7. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 01925 275 309.

happyoksad.org.uk is a mental health site for people who live or work in Warrington, where you can find information about local and national support services. There’s also a section on support specifically for men, as well as details of services available for people in crisis, who need urgent help.