The efforts of individuals and organisations in Wolverhampton to aim to prevent suicide were highlighted on World Suicide Prevention Day.
Wolverhampton’s Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum held a special event on 10 September 2019 to showcase the good work taking place to raise awareness of suicide prevention and the importance of good mental health and wellbeing, and to open up a dialogue around this complex issue.
The University of Wolverhampton offers suicide and self harm prevention training to staff and students through its Three Minutes to Save a Life programme, developed in collaboration with Connecting with People.
There were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK last year, with three quarters of these men. The most common age group for suicides was between 45 and 49 among both men and women.
Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Claire Darke, who has made the Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum one of her chosen charities for her year in office, will be hosting Tuesday’s event, attended by dozens of local organisations who are playing an important role in the city’s suicide prevention strategy.
Councillor Darke said: “As we mark World Suicide Prevention Day, this event will be an important opportunity to showcase the good work being done by organisations and individuals across Wolverhampton to support people at their greatest time of need.”
Clare Dickens is Chair of the Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum and a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, and developed the University's pioneering Three Minutes to Save a Life programme. She said: “The Forum is a group of organisations across Wolverhampton who recognise suicide is preventable and want to make a difference to the people of Wolverhampton.
“Painful emotional intensity and thinking that your life is not worth living are experiences possibly more common than stigma allows us to admit, these thoughts can beset anyone at any point in their life and you do not have to be experiencing mental ill health.
“Often survivors can tell us that they feel they are an incredible burden to those around them and develop a thought that people would genuinely be better off without them. When we speak to those bereaved, we know that this is not the case; the tragedy of suicide is surrounded with these misunderstandings.
“It is essential to know that the intensity of these thoughts passes, that we judge ourselves far more harshly than we ever would do anyone else, and that these thoughts are not an indication to end our life, but to instead review, give time to or change something in our life that is making us feel so hopeless."
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “The council and its partners are committed to tackling stigma around mental health and suicide , and to highlight the help and support which is available to people who are going through a troubling period in their lives.
“The message is clear; if you or someone you know is in a dark place, don’t suffer in silence – help and support is out there.”
Samaritans’ Wolverhampton provides confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. However, many of its calls are not about suicide, but from people who feel upset or confused and want to talk to someone.
If you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, but do not feel ready to speak to someone, you can view the resources offered at www.stayingsafe.net and consider developing your own safety plan.
Wolverhampton Healthy Minds, the psychological therapies service for people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress, can be contacted on 0800 923 0222 or 01902 441856, by visiting www.wolverhamptonhealthyminds.nhs.uk or emailing email@example.com.
HeadStart Wolverhampton, designed to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of 10 to 16-year-olds, offers a range of free resources to young people via the Support and Guidance pages on its website, https://bit.ly/2oP4XyI. There are also free resources for parents and professionals, designed to support them in broaching the subject with young people.
For details of the support available from Wolverhampton Social Hub, the mental health preventative service delivered by Starfish Health and Wellbeing, visit www.thesocialhub.org.uk/wolverhampton.html
To help increase your understanding about how to help someone who may be suicidal, you can complete the Zero Suicide Alliance e-learning which takes only 20 minutes to complete https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training
World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September and is an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation.
Date issued: Tuesday, 10 September 2019