This Suicide Prevention Day (10 September), health organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire want to raise awareness of the local and national services and support available. This follows the report issued by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) which highlights that the suicide rate in men is at its highest in two decades.
Between 2015 – 2019, suicide in men has risen year on year across the West Midlands with 411 suicides in 2019 and for women there was a year on year rise to 2018, with a decline in 2019 with 123 suicides. The rate of men who died by suicide in the West Midlands was 16.4% in comparison to 4.8% in females.
Dr David Spraggett, GP and Chair at NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Health organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire want to help put an end to the stigma and misconceptions of what mental health problems are. It’s ok not to be ok and help is available.
“The most important thing to do is to talk to someone about how you are feeling so that you can be supported and can receive the help you need. This can be a friend, family member, your GP or you can contact mental health support charities and organisations if you would prefer to talk to someone else.”
Anne Prendergast, Lead for Clinical Risk and Suicide Prevention at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust said: “Working with partnership organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire, we are raising awareness of how you can help look after your own mental health and wellbeing and the local mental health support available by holding a virtual Wellbeing for Life festival. Running from the 7 – 11 September 2020, there will be a series of videos dedicated to looking after your mental health and wellbeing will be available during the week. The videos range from service information, pilates and art sessions, to help and advice around mental health and emotional wellbeing and promotion of local support services. People are able to find more information on the Trust website.
“These early steps and intervention will in the long run hopefully help to prevent people going into crisis and prevent suicide.
“If you feel you are in crisis, support is available. You can contact our urgent mental health crisis service which is available free and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust crisis service is aligned to their home treatment team. When a member of the public contacts them they will explore the nature of the crisis and assess if they need to make a home visit. The service is operated by a range of experienced NHS staff and clinicians with specific expertise in crisis and de-escalation interventions. The team is able to give guidance on the service offers available across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Dr Imogen Staveley, Deputy Chair at Warwickshire North CCG said: “World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to have a chat with a friend, family member or colleague to ask them how they’re feeling. Opening up the conversation around mental health will encourage those around you to be more aware of how they’re feeling and reach out for support.”
Dr Sarah Raistrick, Chair at NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG added: “COVID-19 has impacted us all and we have had to adjust to the ‘new’ way of life. Connections and having a conversation remain vital and are more important now than ever before.
“There may be a need for physical distancing still, but this should not impact our connections. Pick up the phone, send a text or check in on your neighbour but remember to keep social distancing in mind.”
The following local and national mental health support and helplines are available:
If you believe or are concerned someone’s life is in immediate danger, call 999.