Zero suicides in St Helens Borough is the goal of a new public health strategy, which recently saw its formal launch.
The launch event saw a range of key partners in health care and the community come together to discuss the strategy’s themes and objectives, and a four-point Stop Suicide Pledge which it is hoped residents, businesses and other partners will make.
Every suicide is a tragedy and for every life lost to suicide there can be more than 100 other people affected and impacted; this strategy makes a commitment to continue working together to reduce the number of suicides.
Making the Stop Suicide Pledge is a personal commitment to prevent suicide by:
- Taking the free online training – which takes just 20 minutes and could save a life – offered by the Zero Suicide Alliance
- Downloading the Stay Alive app to help those who have experienced suicidal thoughts create a safety plan
- Changing the language we use when discussing suicide to be more compassionate and understanding, avoiding phrases like ‘committed suicide’. For more guidance on this, visit www.suicidepreventionalliance.org/about-suicide/suicide-language/
- And taking the time to check in on three friends, family members, or colleagues, even when you don’t think they need it.
Make the pledge at www.sthelens.gov.uk/stopsuicidepledge.
The St Helens Borough Suicide Prevention Strategy was approved by St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet in July. It outlines the work that has gone on to support residents in recent years and sets out further measures to continue to make an impact.
The strategy incorporates continuing work with partners across the borough and those impacted by suicide and self-harm, training such as that offered by Zero Suicide Alliance, improving support for people who may need mental health help, bereavement support and pattern analysis of incidents to inform data-driven decisions and evidence-based practices.
Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, said: “Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy. The devastating loss is felt widely by family, friends and colleagues and communities who may feel that impact in their daily lives for many years. Although there has been some really good progress on reducing suicide in the borough, we need to continue this work.
“Support through projects like our Okay to Ask campaign which encourages us all to not be afraid to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide, breaking down the stigma of talking about our mental health and most importantly getting the right treatment if it is needed. The strategy includes some stark reading showing that there are a range of factors that result in some people feeling trapped and lacking hope.
“So much partnership work has gone on in recent years to make sure our residents get the right kind of help, and it’s clear this work is had a positive impact on reducing our rates, but we cannot be complacent. With this strategy and your help by taking our Stop Suicide Pledge, we will push further towards our goal of zero suicides in St Helens Borough.”
There is help and support available out there, including 24/7 crisis mental health support and a range of information, services and peer support available. Find this and more at http://www.oktoaskcampaign.co.uk
For training on how to talk to someone feeling suicidal visit www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training.
Learn more about and download the Stay Alive app at www.stayalive.app
Please follow the link for the video from the launch event https://fb.watch/nB5–rwHse/