TODAY is Suicide Prevention Day and organisations in Warwickshire want to raise awareness of local support available.
Three years ago, with rates of suicide increasing in the area, Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership (HCP) secured suicide prevention funding from NHS England and Public Health England.
A three-year programme of work began including a focus on middle-aged men whose rates of suicide had been increasing.
The programme included suicide prevention leads from health, social care, primary care, and voluntary and community sector organisations.
An event highlighting the resulting projects and looking at ways in which partners can work together to reduce suicides in the area, was held earlier this week.
NHS Trust spokeswoman Dr Sharon Binyon said: “Three years on from the start of our suicide prevention programme, we were keen to share the positive strides we have made and explore ways in which we can continue to work together to prevent suicides and improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of our local population.
“We’re proud of some of the projects which have been established, including the suicide prevention website www.dearlife.org.uk, Safe Havens, evidence-based mental health awareness and suicide prevention training for non-mental health professionals, and groups for those whose mental health has been impacted by drug and alcohol addiction, to name but a few.”
Despite the programme coming to an end, suicide prevention and mental health is still an ongoing priority and support is available and continuing to be developed.
A new, free service jointly funded by Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council (WCC) called Amparo, has been launched across the region, providing support to those who have been bereaved or affected by suicide.
WCC adult social care spokeswoman Margaret Bell said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy and impacts families, friends and the wider community. Our support for World Suicide Prevention Day is a part of the council’s ongoing commitment to working with our partners to reducing the numbers of people who die by suicide in our communities and providing better support for those dealing with bereavement by suicide.
“It’s a really positive step that we are now able to further expand the support available to those bereaved by suicide by offering this free and confidential service from Amparo across Coventry and Warwickshire. Losing someone as a result of suicide can impact the bereaved in so many ways and having access to both emotional and practical support to get through this very difficult time is vital.
“We hope that this new service, along with the Dear Life website, will be able to provide residents with the support and advice they need, on a topic that can still be very difficult for some to approach. You’re not alone, there is help out there and we would encourage anyone struggling or in need of advice to reach out and use the support available to them.”
Visit warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth for information about services.