This World Suicide Prevention Day (Sunday 10 September) Hampshire County Council is working alongside Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust to remind people about Life Cards. To ensure as many people as possible know where they can find help and support for themselves or a loved one. Who may be struggling with mental ill health or suicidal thoughts.
Hampshire County Council’s Chair of the Hampshire Health and Wellbeing Board, Councillor Jan Warwick said: “About five thousand people die by suicide across England and Wales every year. And in Hampshire alone the number exceeds one hundred. Even one life is too many, particularly as we know that many of these tragic outcomes are preventable. We can all do our bit by helping people get the support they need and having open conversations. About our mental and emotional health, both for ourselves and those around us.
“Despite many people facing a mental health crisis at some point in their lives. Talking about these issues can be challenging. However, we know that opening up about mental health and suicide can help people to cope and find services to support them if needed. There are resources available that teach the skills to build confidence to have a potentially life-saving conversation. It is only by talking about issues that we can begin to break the stigma surrounding mental ill health and help to prevent suicide.”
Anyone can learn (for free) how to have a potentially life-saving conversation through undertaking 20 minute suicide awareness training (zerosuicidealliance.com).
Life Cards are pocket-sized cards with details of organisations providing crisis support, helping to know where to signpost people if they need help. They are available at hospitals, GP waiting rooms, libraries, food pantries and in many other places. This year, the Life Cards will also be available on digital displays at bus stops around the county.
Rachel Coltart, Divisional Director of Nursing and Allied Healthcare Professionals for Specialist Division at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “We work with some of the most vulnerable people across Hampshire and Isle of Wight. But poor mental health and suicidal thoughts can affect anyone.
“Our work with people who have lived experience of bereavement, mental health and suicide. Has helped us to improve our understanding of suicide and the different ways we can support people. The Life Cards came from these conversations and have been hugely successful in ensuring people know where to go if they or someone they know have suicidal thoughts.”
Where to find help in a crisis
Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or concerned about someone who may be feeling suicidal can find urgent help from the following places:
- Samaritans is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call free on 116123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- SHOUT is a free, confidential 24/7 crisis text support for immediate assistance – text ‘HANTS’ to 85258
- Call NHS 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk for mental health services
- Hampshire residents can contact Southern Health or, for residents in north east Hampshire, the Surrey and Borders Partnership
Further information and support can be found at Mental Wellbeing Hampshire.
If you have been affected by suicide, the Amparo bereavement service provides emotional and practical assistance for people across Hampshire.
The Local Authority, through the county’s Health and Wellbeing Board. Is working alongside a range of Hampshire partner organisations to help prevent suicide in all age groups. As well as improve the support available to anyone affected by suicide.
This includes crucial work with ‘Voices’, representing people with living experience of suicide. Who help steer decision-making on suicide prevention and bereavement support across the county.