Why support is vital for suicide prevention

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More than 90 people die from suicide in Nottinghamshire and Nottingham City every year – and men aged between 35–64 account for 75% of suicides.

World Suicide Prevention Day (Thursday, Sept 10) hopes to highlight the areas where support could play a vital role in combating suicide.

This year’s theme ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’ looks at how family, friends and work colleagues could make a difference to the lives of someone who may be vulnerable to suicide or bereaved by suicide.

Public Health Nottinghamshire’s recently commissioned Mental Health and Suicide Prevention training provider will commence on 1 October 2015.

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention training programmes have been commissioned in both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County and will be launched in the autumn.

The providers will deliver ASIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training which enables professionals to become more willing, ready and able to help people who are at risk of suicide.

Councillor Alex Norris, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board for Nottingham City, said: “Suicide prevention is everyone’s business and we want to encourage people to develop skills in supporting people who may be at risk. The message of World Suicide Prevention Day is that reaching out to someone who is struggling can make a difference and we support that message in Nottingham.”

Coun Joyce Bosnjak, chairman of the Public Health Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, agreed that showing care and concern for someone vulnerable to suicide was vital in helping to combat the number of suicide deaths in Nottinghamshire.

Coun Bosnjak added: “The support of friends and relatives is crucial for people who may be at risk of suicide and for people who have lost someone to suicide.

“However, it is not always enough. Often more formal help is needed from skilled councillors, GPs or mental health services. The County Council recognises the need to train frontline workers who may come across those at risk of suicide and in turn can provide early interventions.”

For more information on how you can be involved in WSPD on a global or local level visit www.iasp.info/wspd

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