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Update - Lancashire & South Cumbria ICS Suicide Prevention Programme

29th April 2019

The latest on Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria's suicide prevention activities including news of who has been appointed as training provider, a campaign to tackle the stigma around suicide and the start of the first of our 'Bereaved by Suicide' pilots.

Training update

As part of Lancashire and South Cumbria’s suicide prevention programme, we are pleased to report that Lancashire Mind have won the contract to provide training throughout the ICS, in partnership with Papyrus. This will be all age training, targeting adults as well as children and young people.

The training aims to equip individuals and professionals working in multiple settings to recognise emotional distress and develop skills to promote positive wellbeing, at the same time increasing their knowledge of mental health and suicide prevention. Priority audiences that the training will primarily support are middle aged men, children and young people, young adults at risk of self-harm, as well as women in the perinatal period – given that suicide is the second leading cause of maternal death, after cardiovascular disease.

The training will be delivered in workplaces, educational and community settings to ensure we raise awareness of mental health, self-harm and suicide, and build resilience across communities. We are targeting workplaces since the majority of people who die by suicide are not known to mental health services.

Suicide Anti-stigma Campaign

Suicide is the leading cause of death for men aged 15-49. Men are also three times more likely than women to take their own lives. Suicide is rising after many years of decline, and Lancashire and South Cumbria is rated fourth highest nationally for rates of suicide.

Samaritans report that a third of people do not feel able to talk about feeling suicidal. The stigma around suicide prevents them from talking about it and seeking help. To tackle this stigma, we are planning an ICS wide anti-stigma campaign aimed at men, using the platforms of sport and the construction industry.

Did you know, we no longer use the term commit suicide? This is a stigmatising term because suicide is NOT a crime - it was decriminalised in England and Wales in 1961. We now use the terms ‘completed suicide’ and ‘died by suicide’.

We are keen to hear from you if you know of men with a lived experience of suicidal ideation who would like to be involved in this campaign, or if you yourself would like to be involved in a professional or personal capacity. We are adopting a co-productive approach to our suicide anti-stigma campaign because we strongly believe that suicide prevention is everyone’s business.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings you can call:

  • Samaritans on 116 123 (anytime, day or night); or
  • Papryus, a charity for the prevention of young suicide on 0800 068 4141 (open 10am-10pm weekdays, 2pm-10pm weekends and bank holidays).

AMPARO pilot

The first of nine Bereaved by Suicide pilots funded by the SCN started on 8th April and will run for six months, as part of our work supporting Healthier Lancashire’s suicide prevention programme.

AMPARO provides support for people recently bereaved by suicide, offering both one-to-one and peer support up to, or until just after, the inquest. People can self refer into the service or are contacted by AMPARO after giving consent to the Police or Coroner.

During the pilot, AMPARO’s support will be available to people in Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn. Following a suicide, AMPARO helps people overcome feelings of isolation by connecting them up with local support services and peer groups including SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide) - which can also help with continuity of care. They also help with any media enquiries and provide practical support when dealing with the Police or Coroner.

The SCN will meet with AMPARO monthly during the pilot, to ensure that referrals and uptake are monitored, and to review the wellness evaluations carried out during and after people’s programmes of support. The results will form part of our wider evaluation exercise and recommendations for future bereaved by suicide service provision across the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria.

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