If you have been affected by the Aidan Connor suicide storyline in Coronation Street, help and support is available in Warwickshire

On the day of Coronation Street’s one hour special, which will explore the after-effects of the suicide of much loved character Aidan Conner played by Shayne Ward, Warwickshire County Council is reminding all residents that help and support is available in Warwickshire for anyone who is experiencing similar issues or who has been bereaved as a result of suicide.

More than three-quarters of suicides in the UK are by men, and it is the biggest killer of males under 45. If you are experiencing mental health distress, contemplating suicide or have been affected by this Coronation Street storyline, there is help available in Warwickshire with information about all services available from www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth.

Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “The Aidan Conner storyline in Coronation Street has certainly brought to the fore the issues around male suicide in the UK and I welcome the opportunity this gives to draw attention to a seldom discussed topic. Every death by suicide is a tragedy and impacts families, friends and the wider community.

“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 Warwickshire County Council strategy. I hope the airing of this episode on Wednesday serves as a reminder to our communities in Warwickshire that it is ‘Okay to talk’ about suicide and mental health and that it can encourage anyone experiencing similar issues to seek the help and support that they need.”

Face-to-face support – Wellbeing for Warwickshire

Face-to-face support is available in Warwickshire through Coventry and Warwickshire Mind’s and Springfield Mind’s Wellbeing for Warwickshire service, which offers 1:1 appointments, mental health workshops and peer-led drop in sessions across Coventry and Warwickshire.

Find out more about the support offered through Wellbeing for Warwickshire here: https://wbw.cwmind.org.uk/

Over the telephone – Mental Health Matters and the Samaritans

The Mental Health Matters Telephone Helpline consists of a team of highly trained and experienced support workers who use counselling skills to provide you with emotional guidance and information. Call them free in Warwickshire on 0800 616171 or visit http://www.mentalhealthmatters.com/our-services/helpline-services/ for more information

The Samaritans helpline can also be accessed 24/7 365 days of the year by telephoning 116 123 from any phone. More information on the Samaritans is available here: https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/contact-us

Online Support – Big White Wall

For those residents who would benefit from online support there is Big White Wall, which is an online community of members, who support, help each other and share what’s troubling them in a safe and anonymous environment.

The Big White Wall site is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – no need to wait until morning, the next business day or for a doctors’ appointment. You can find support simply by registering with your Warwickshire postcode at: https://register.bigwhitewall.com//Eligibility/EligibilityCheck#.WAotENIrLmE

Self Help Books – The Books of Prescription Scheme

Books on Prescription (BOP) can help you manage your health and wellbeing with self-help books, eBooks and CDs, covering mental health topics like depression, anxiety and stress. Best of all, all titles are recommended and reviewed by experienced health professionals.

Find out more about books on prescription: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/booksonprescription

Support for Young People – Rise

Warwickshire’s new children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health service, called Rise, is available to help any young person experiencing mental health issues. Further information about this service is available at:

https://www.cwrise.com/

Help available through the NHS

If you have been affected by this episode of Coronation Street, and are struggling to cope, it is also suggested that you consider contacting your GP. If you are receiving support from NHS mental health services you may also like to make contact with your mental health practitioner / team.

Are you at immediate risk?

If you are at immediate risk of harm, and no longer able to keep yourself safe, dial 999, or ask a trusted person to help you get to your nearest hospital’s emergency department.

Services for people bereaved through suicide

A key feature of the Aidan Conner storyline is the loss felt by his father, portrayed in the show by Richard Hawley. In Warwickshire, a contract to provide support to people who have been bereaved by suicide has been recently awarded to The Kaleidoscope Plus Group. The two-year contract has been awarded to the charity to develop and deliver a Suicide Bereavement Support Service until at least March 2020.

The initiative will run out of venues across the county and will specifically aim to help those bereaved by suicide to start to cope with their loss and find support from others who have experienced a similar loss.

The first support group will be held in Nuneaton and Bedworth and subsequent groups will be set up in each district and borough to allow ease of access across the county. A launch event will be held at the CHESS Centre, Camp Hill, on 24th May with the first group being held at the same venue on 31st May.

Details of these support sessions will be available on the Warwickshire Mental Health and Wellbeing webpage: https://warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth and The Kaleidoscope Plus Group website: http://www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk/our-services

In addition to the above, the Support After Suicide Partnership have produced a very helpful resource – Help is at Hand – for people dealing with a loss after suicide. This guide can be accessed here: http://supportaftersuicide.org.uk/support-guides/help-is-at-hand/

More information about mental health services in Warwickshire are available on the Warwickshire Web: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth