Caption: Local organisations are being asked to display this banner on their websites
LOCAL campaigners are hoping to debunk some of the myths around the subject of suicide, with a high profile campaign involving organisations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough this World Suicide Prevention Day – 10 September 2016.
The county’s STOP Suicide campaign – which is run by mental health charities Mind in Cambridgeshire, Lifecraft and Peterborough & Fenland Mind – is focusing on the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistic that, worldwide, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds. That’s 800,000 people a year.
STOP Suicide wants to promote the message that suicide can be preventable – and that we all have a part to play in suicide prevention within our communities. The campaign has created a website banner encouraging members of the public to get involved by becoming more suicide-aware – and is seeking the help of local organisations to promote the message online.
The campaign looks to encourage people to recognise the warning signs of suicidal behaviour, ask directly about suicide if they are worried about someone and to help keep them safe.
Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind in Cambridgeshire, said: “We want to encourage as many local organisations as possible to join us in sending out the powerful message that we can all help to prevent suicide by being ready, willing and able to talk openly about the subject.”
The STOP Suicide campaign was launched on World Suicide Prevention Day 2014. Since then, 46 local employers have signed up to the STOP Suicide Organisational Pledge and more than 900 individuals have signed Personal Pledges. There have also been in excess of 18,000 visits to the STOP Suicide website and more than 400 local people have received Suicide Prevention Training.
The project, which is currently funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, is now seeking further funding to upscale its activities across the area.
Organisations spreading the word is just one element of a series of events across the county to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, which this year has the theme ‘Connect, Communicate, Care.’
University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine is due to hold an internal event on 9 September, which will include the screening of the compelling film ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ by mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin, who also helped launch STOP Suicide. This will be followed by a Q&A session with both Jonny and Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind in Cambridgeshire. Other activity will include public community stands at the Priory Centre, St Neots, on 14 September from 10am-2pm, Tesco Wisbech on 15 September, 11am-3pm and at Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, Peterborough, on 16 September, 11am-3pm.
The Pledge is a key part of the STOP Suicide campaign, which aims to empower individuals and communities to be more aware and open about suicide and reach out to those who may be distressed and in need of support.
For more information about the STOP Suicide campaign and to sign the Pledge, please visit www.stopsuicidepledge.org.
If you are feeling suicidal, or have been affected by the content within this article, please contact:
Samaritans: 116 123 (24-hour national helpline)
Lifeline: 0808 8082121 (Cambridgeshire helpline, 7pm – 11pm 365 days of the year)
SOBS (Survivors Of Bereavement by Suicide): 0300 111 5065 (national helpline, 9am to 9pm every day).
For further information:
• World Suicide Prevention Day
• University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine
Aly Anderson, STOP Suicide Project Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org T: 07930282792
Dominika Karpowicz, STOP Suicide Project Co-ordinator
email@example.com T: 01223 311320
Carole Morgan, Assistant Manager, Lifecraft
Emily Gray, Peterborough & Fenland Mind
Emily.Gray@pfmind.org.uk T: 01733 530650