World Suicide Prevention Day 2017: Take a minute today and do something that could change a life

Warwickshire County Council is assuring residents that ‘it’s okay to talk’ about suicide, and suicidal thoughts as part of World Suicide Prevention Day 2017, which takes place on Sunday 10 September.

Every 90 minutes in the UK, someone takes their own life. In 2013 and 2014, Warwickshire Coroners recorded 105 deaths by suicide. This figure compares to 51 people who were killed in road accidents in Warwickshire during the same time period, reflecting the fact that deaths from suicide nationally are the leading cause of death for males in three age groups (5-19, 20-34 and 35-49 years), and the leading cause of death for females in two age groups (5-19 and 20-34).

In order to respond to the issues of suicide and part of the Council’s commitment to keeping residents as healthy as possible, the Suicide Prevention Strategy for Warwickshire was launched on Wednesday 30 November 2016 at Leamington Spa Town Hall.

Warwickshire’s strategy regards every death by suicide as potentially preventable, and outlines plans and priorities required to reduce the number of deaths by suicide across the county. Find out more: apps.warwickshire.gov.uk/api/documents/WCCC-630-979

The Warwickshire Strategy outlines a broad ambition to reduce suicides to zero as part of the County Council’s commitment to keeping its residents healthy – this will be achieved through a range of actions, including:

  • Providing specialist suicide prevention training for GPs
  • Targeted suicide prevention campaigns in the community
  • Partnership working with our Specialist Mental Health services provided by Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust
  • Working with our local media to deliver sensitive reporting on suicides and suicidal behaviour
  • Reducing the impact of suicide on survivors, families and the bereaved

The theme of this year’s world suicide prevention is ‘it’s okay to talk’ and encourages everyone to reach out to someone in crisis as this can make a huge difference to them. A spokesperson for charity The Samaritans explains: “When a person reaches a point where they are focused on taking their life, they’ve often lost sight of trying to find a way through their problems. This period usually only lasts a short while and often it doesn’t take a huge amount to bring someone back from that decision – something as simple as saying, ‘it’s ok to talk’ can be enough to move someone out of suicidal crisis.

Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Every death by suicide is a tragedy and impacts families, friends and the wider community. Our support for World Suicide Prevention day is a part of the council’s ongoing commitment to working with our partners to reducing the rates and providing better support for those bereaved by suicide.”

“Death by suicide is everybody’s business and we all have a role to play in achieving the zero suicide ambition set out in the strategy. I hope as many residents as possible convey the important message from this year’s prevention day that it is ‘Okay to talk’ about suicide and mental health. ”

For information about a range of mental health and wellbeing services, including face to face, telephone, online and self-help resources available in Warwickshire, please visit: warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth

You may also find it helpful to view the Suicide Prevention campaign for Coventry and Warwickshire, targeted at men: ittakesballstotalk.com

If you are struggling to cope, please call Samaritans for free at any time, from any phone on 116 123 (UK and ROI) or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch. Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year, providing a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.

Upcoming events

17 September 2017 – The It Takes Balls to Talk (ITBTT) campaign is aimed primarily at men to encourage them to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. Wasps Rugby are hosting a 999 event in partnership with ITBTT on 17 September 2017.