Warwickshire and Coventry local authorities and other organisations are working together to help prevent suicide across the region.
The new Coventry and Warwickshire Suicide Prevention Strategy has recently been published.
The strategy aims to give people the knowledge, skills and confidence to talk about suicide, helping to improve awareness of signs and help prevent it from happening.
The strategy was officially launched at last year’s Coventry and Warwickshire Suicide Prevention Conference, hosted by the Coventry and Warwickshire Suicide Prevention Partnership. The conference was attended by around 160 delegates from 55 different organisations, all committed to raising awareness of suicide and helping people find the right support to realise this this is not their only option. During the conference, people shared powerful stories about their own personal experiences, different services spoke about what they are doing to embed suicide prevention in their organisation and highlighting the support available.
Warwickshire County Councillor Margaret Bell, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “We don’t want anyone to think that suicide is the only option for them and our collective mission is to help people who are struggling, with nowhere to turn, to understand that they are not alone and that support is available.
“Events such as the conference allow us to shine a light on the issue, share stories and have meaningful discussions about what we can do and how we can work together. The joint strategy has been written with the expertise of Coventry and Warwickshire agencies and insight from those who have been affected by suicide. Together we will continue to work together raise awareness of the support available and equip people with the tools to have conversations around mental health, whether it is their own or they are concerned about someone else.
“We all have a responsibility to help one another through challenging times, understanding that as a community we can help to reduce the stigma of suicide and create a supportive environment for people who need it. We are confident, and hopeful, our approach will make a difference and our aims can be achieved so lives can be saved.”
Councillor Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport at Coventry City Council, said: “Every life lost to a suicide is a life lost too soon and it’s something we must do everything we can to prevent. That’s why we are committed to working together with local organisations and services to deliver a refreshed approach to provide information and support across the patch.
“As a society we recognise that mental health is just as important as physical health for our wellbeing and it’s important that communities are a safe place, that can help reduce the stigma of suicide, and look out for those who are struggling.
“That’s why events like the Wellbeing for Life Festival and the Suicide Prevention Conference are so important for defining our approach, hearing real stories and sharing tools to having conversations about mental health. This is all part of ongoing work with our partners to raise awareness, address the stigma, and reduce the rates of suicide in Coventry and Warwickshire.”
This theme was also the focus for last year’s Wellbeing for Life festival. Organised in conjunction with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust, the event showcased the range of support networks across the patch and encouraged attendees to reflect on how they can support themselves or someone in their life who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts or suffering with their mental health.
The suicide prevention strategy is available here - WCCC-1350011118-3306 (warwickshire.gov.uk)
Suicide prevention information and resources for anyone affected by suicide can be found at the Dear Life website – Dear Life : Home
If there an immediate risk to life - call 999 or go straight to A&E.
If you need urgent crisis advice - call the NHS Mental Health Access Hubs on 08081 966 798.