County comes together for World Suicide Prevention Day 2016
Organisations from across Gloucestershire are joining others around the world to tackle the stigma around suicide for the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) World Suicide Prevention Day 2016 on Saturday 10th September.
Last year Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum (GSPPF) launched their five-year plan to reduce the rate of suicide in Gloucestershire through a range of actions, including raising awareness and signposting people to help available.
The forum represents organisations from public, private and the voluntary and community sectors, as well as people with lived experience.
As part of the commitment to reduce the suicide rate in Gloucestershire, agencies will be supporting World Suicide Prevention Day 2016 by making pledges on how they will be reaching out to people in need.
Using the hashtag #GlosCares, councillors, local business leaders, staff and other dignitaries from around the county will be posting their pledges onto social media throughout the day and are encouraging people across Gloucestershire to join in.
The pledges are designed to help tackle the stigma around talking about mental health, and direct people to the help they need, when they need it.
Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will have its bus on the cross in Gloucester city centre on Saturday 10thSeptember where staff will be on hand to offer support and information. There will also be a chance for people to make their own pledge on how they will help tackle suicide in the county. Gloucestershire Constabulary's Neighbourhood Engagement Vehicle (NEV) will also be set up in the docks.
Members of the public who would like a space for quiet contemplation and reflection on World Suicide Prevention Day are invited to light a candle at the Thomas Chapel of Gloucester Cathedral between 8am-1pm and 2pm-6pm.
Councillor Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "World Suicide Prevention Day is an international campaign that, sadly, highlights that far too many people lose their lives through suicide every year.
"Suicide is a complicated and sensitive issue and something that I really do feel passionately about. I want us to continue to do whatever it takes to see the number of suicides in Gloucestershire reducing.
"I'd encourage anyone who feels suicidal, or suspects that someone they care about is feeling suicidal, not to be reluctant to seek help. I know it is difficult, but talking to someone can really make a difference."
Dr Hein Le Roux, Deputy Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: "We can all help prevent suicides by being alert to our own feelings and looking out for signs in others that they may be considering it, and encouraging these people to talk to someone and to reach out for support. Asking for help and seeking treatment is a sign of strength, not weakness.
"Every suicide is tragic - but a preventable tragedy. We encourage everyone to take the pledge to have open, honest conversations about suicide - it might just make a difference between life and death."
Gordon Benson, Assistant Director with 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, sits on the Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership Forum. He said: "Suicide is an emotive topic, but one which we need to openly raise awareness of and discuss.
"World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to highlight the fact that too many lives are lost to suicide and to raise awareness of the steps people can take to seek help or help others. It's also another opportunity to show support to those who have lost people they care about through suicide or who have otherwise been affected, as suicide has a far reaching impact across our communities."
To find out more about suicide prevention, please visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/suicide-prevention