Work continues to help reduce suicide in Norfolk on World Suicide Prevention Day

During September Norfolk County Council Public Health will be working with national and local organisations to raise awareness and promote a wide range of help and support that is available, both to people at risk of suicide, but also for families and individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Dr Louise Smith Director of Public Health said: “Recent figures show that suicides in the UK have increased, a trend that we have also seen here in Norfolk. And whilst this may be due to a change in the way data is being reported, we strongly believe that even one suicide is one too many.

Suicide prevention is a huge priority for us at Norfolk County Council. The suicide implementation group continues to target higher risk groups and it’s encouraging to see so many new initiatives being launched to help these people. And we are working closely with Norfolk and Waveney Mind to deliver a wide range of mental health awareness training across Norfolk’s workforce and to provide support for families who have lost loved ones to suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September provides us with another reason to remind people of all the help that is available to anyone who needs it . The Stay Alive app, Help is at Hand Guide and the ‘I am really not okay’ safety plan are just some of the resources that are free and available at www.norfolk.gov.uk/iamokay.”

Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death in men aged under 45. As part of its suicide prevention work Norfolk County Council is providing funding for local organisations such as Menscraft and the 12th Man to offer help, support and social activities for men.

Nick Little Director of The Outsiders who runs 12th Man said: “Getting men to open up and talk about how they’re feeling is half the battle. Training up teams of people from all walks of life, whether it’s a pub landlord or a tattoo artist, on mental health first aid gives them the confidence to recognise problems and get their customers talking about how they’re feeling. Without the funding and support from Norfolk County Council this kind of thing would never have got off the ground”.

Norfolk County Council are also working closely with Norfolk and Waveney Mind on a variety of initiatives including training and bereavement support through the Anchor Project.

Sonja Chilvers, Head of Recovery at Norfolk and Waveney Mind said: “The Anchor Project was born out of recognising that there was a desperate need to support people bereaved by suicide in Norfolk. The pilot project was set up thanks to vital fundraising income specifically aimed at helping people in our local community. Norfolk and Waveney Mind provide this invaluable service by offering daytime and evening support groups to those who have been affected by suicide in a safe and non-judgmental environment.”

Further information and links to local support organisations can be found on the suicide prevention area of the Norfolk County Council website www.norfolk.gov.uk/iamokay