Local communities across Lancashire and South Cumbria are set to benefit from a major national investment aimed at supporting people at risk of suicide.
Today’s announcement by the Department for Health and Social Care, Public Health England (PHE), and NHS England marks the start of a three-year programme worth £25 million that will reach the whole country by 2021.
It 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 Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt 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.
Lancashire and South Cumbria is one of eight regions set to benefit from the funding. The £1.2m funding will be used in the next 2 years locally to deliver targeted prevention campaigns for men; psychological support for people with financial difficulties; better care after discharge and improved self-harm services for all ages.
The funds are set to improve suicide prevention strategies, signposting and raising awareness through to improving quality for safer services and will help drive better surveillance and collection of data on suicide, attempted suicide and self-harm.
Paul Hopley, Programme Director for Mental Health at Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “We welcome today’s announcement, which will help some of our most vulnerable people get the crisis mental health support they need.
“Raising awareness of suicide and ensuring those in need receive the right support, at the right time, is a key priority for us.
“Local partners have worked together to develop a suicide prevention model, which includes improving quality and data collection locally and building closer relationships between health and voluntary services.
“Our shared vision is to help residents to be emotionally resilient and have positive mental health.
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.
Paul Hopley added: “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.”
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/