STOP Suicide, a GROUND-BREAKING suicide prevention project which seeks to help stop suicides across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has received a national award.
The STOP Suicide campaign has won the ‘Prevention’ category in this year’s MHPF (Mental Health Providers Forum) Mental Health Voluntary Sector Awards, alongside the UK charity Depression Alliance. The category, which attracted nine entries from across the country, was supported and judged by Public Health England.
STOP Suicide was launched across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough last September. Its aim is to create a suicide-safer community by empowering individuals and communities to talk openly about the subject of suicide, recognise the warning signs, be able to ask directly about suicide if they are worried about someone and support those at risk to get help. The project is led by Mind in Cambridgeshire, Peterborough & Fenland Mind and Lifecraft, and is supported by local public health and NHS teams.
Aly Anderson, STOP Suicide project manager, said that all the project partners were delighted by the national recognition but added: “At the same time we are very aware that this is still early days for the campaign and there is so much more work to do.
“Every year across the UK and the Republic of Ireland, more than 6000 people die as a result of suicide – and every one of those deaths is a tragedy for individuals, families and whole communities.
“We believe that a key element of suicide prevention is tackling the taboo around mental ill health generally and suicide in particular – and encouraging more open and honest discussion around the subject of suicide.
“The people who are most likely to spot the warning signs in those at risk of suicide are their friends, family and colleagues – and our aim is to empower as many people as possible to be aware of the signs, to be prepared to ask directly about suicide if they are worried about someone and then help the person at risk to stay safe.”
Since its launch, there have been more than 3000 visits to the STOP Suicide website, 30 local employers have signed up to the STOP Suicide Organisational Pledge, more than 500 Personal Pledges have been made and around 200 people have had Suicide Prevention Training.
“We very much hope that this award will now help us to attract more follow-on funding for this important work”, adds Aly Anderson.
The annual MHPF Mental Health Voluntary Sector Awards aim to highlight the best in service delivery and practice for people with mental health issues. The awards focused on six areas – from crisis care to employment – and attracted entries from voluntary sector organisations across the country. The awards were presented at a ceremony at The Oval, in London on 22 April 2015.