Wolverhampton’s Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum, comprising various organisations, is encouraging people to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing – while also helping to tackle the stigma which surrounds the issue.
Nationally, there were 5,821 suicides recorded in 2017, with three quarters of these men. The highest proportion of deaths were among males aged between 45 and 49, while for females it was those aged 50 to 54.
Wolverhampton Social Hub, the mental health preventative service delivered by Starfish Health and Wellbeing, will be hosting an informal coffee and chat session at Firsbrook House, Firsbrook Close, Whitmore Reans, on Monday (10 September) from 2.30pm-4pm, while Let’s Talk, a coffee morning for women to come and share their thoughts with Aspiring Futures’ health and wellbeing team, takes place at The Old School, Dudley Road, Wolverhampton on Wednesday (12 September) from 10am-noon.
Members of Wolverhampton Samaritans will be out and about at the railway station next week to highlight suicide risk on the railway network.
HeadStart Wolverhampton, designed to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of 10 to 16-year-olds, is offering a range of free resources to young people via the Support and Guidance pages on its website, https://bit.ly/2oP4XyI.
There are also free resources for parents and professionals, designed to support them in broaching the subject with young people.
From Monday (10 September), more support will be available on the HeadStart website, www.headstartonline.co.uk, and Twitter, www.twitter.com/HeadStartFM, including blog posts and podcasts featuring young people talking about how they feel and the support they want to receive.
Healthy Minds, the psychological therapies service for people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress, will be offering emotional wellbeing checks at the University of Wolverhampton, St Thomas More School, Parkfield Primary School and Bushbury Hill Primary School over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the Wolverhampton-based disability charity Outside Centre, which works to improve the lives of disabled and non-disabled people through arts activity, has secured £10,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to develop suicide prevention awareness and activities across the city.
It will be launching a new website in the coming months offering information and support around suicide prevention, and developing a series of videos to raise awareness of the issue.
Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “The council and its partners are committed to tackling stigma around mental health and discrimination.
“These activities are not only designed to raise awareness of the issues, but also highlight the help and support which is available to people who are going through a troubling period in their lives.
“The message is clear; if you or someone you know is in a dark place, don’t suffer in silence – help and support is out there.”
Samaritans’ Wolverhampton provides confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. However, many of its calls are not about suicide, but from people who feel upset or confused and want to talk to someone.
For help and support, please contact Samaritans Wolverhampton on 01902 426422 or free on 116 123, visit its office at 54 Newhampton Road West, log on to www.samaritans.org or email email@example.com.
Wolverhampton Healthy Minds can be contacted on 0800 923 0222 or 01902 441856 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September. It’s an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention – www.iasp.info – and the World Health Organisation www.who.int/en.
For more information about Outside Centre, please visit www.facebook.com/outsidecentre. For details of the support available from Wolverhampton Social Hub, visit www.thesocialhub.org.uk/wolverhampton, and for Aspiring Futures, please log on to www.aspiring-futures.co.uk.