Local people to be trained in suicide prevention thanks to national funding

Date posted: 25th July 2018

Lancashire and South Cumbria are using part of the £600,000 funding received from NHS England to train communities, front line workers and male dominated employers such as Sellafield and the Building Trade about suicide prevention, suicide awareness and resilience building.

Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, the partnership of NHS and Council organisations in the region, were awarded the funding in May as part of a three year, national programme worth over £25 million. The programme forms part of the government’s commitment to reduce suicides in England by 10 per cent by 2021 and will support the zero suicide ambition for mental health inpatients announced by the Department of Health and Social Care in January of this year.

Currently one person every 90 minutes dies by suicide in the UK and approximately two thirds of these are not in contact with mental health services.

Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria is committed to supporting the zero suicide ambition by bringing organisations together to create and deliver suicide prevention training.

Paul Hopley, Programme Director for Mental Health at Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “Raising awareness of suicide and ensuring those in need receive the right support, at the right time, is a key priority for us. As a local commissioner, I see the devastating impact that suicide can have on a family and community. Locally, we want to help raise awareness of the support that is available to those at most risk and help show there is another way.”

On 13th July over 25 third sector organisations took part in a suicide prevention training workshop, looking at developing a training model which can be delivered consistently across the region. Once established, this training will be rolled out to organisations, businesses, community groups and NHS staff to raise greater awareness of suicide prevention.

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Lancashire County Council Director for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “This is a very welcome development, and shows the commitment from partners across Lancashire and South Cumbria in addressing this important health issue. Our shared vision is to help residents to be emotionally resilient and have positive mental health.”

The workshop also provided an opportunity for organisations to network and look at future collaboration and partnership working. A second training workshop is planned for 31st July.

You can access the free suicide prevention training here: https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/

If you are worried that you, or someone you know is at risk of suicide, there is 24/7 help available.

Let family or friends know what’s going on for you. They may be able to offer support and help keep you safe. There’s no right or wrong way to talk about suicidal feelings – starting the conversation is what’s important.

If you need to talk to someone, speak to:

  • Your GP
  • NHS 111, who can direct you to a local service for advice
  • Samaritans – call 116 123
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men. Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
  • Childline – for children and young people under 19. Call 0800 11 11 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill.
To find out what other services are available and to read some tips on coping with suicidal thoughts, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/

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