Health leaders give their backing to World Suicide Prevention Day

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NHS leaders across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are giving their backing to World Suicide Prevention Day today.

Someone takes their own life every 90 minutes in the UK. Statistically men are around three times more likely to take their own life, and suicide is the biggest killer of men aged under 49.

This year the theme for World Suicide Prevention day is 'Working Together to Prevent Suicide.'

The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs are active members of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Suicide Prevention Strategy, which has included the development of a suicide-prevention action plan for the area.

 And earlier this year £300,000 extra funding was secured for a suicide prevention programme specifically targeting middle-aged men. It will introduce a service to increase support for people attending hospital for deliberate self-harm who are at high risk of suicide, as well as training for staff working in primary care settings like GP surgeries and pharmacies.

Dr Waheed Abassi, a Stoke-on-Trent GP with a special interest in mental health, and mental health Clinical Lead for the area’s Together We’re Better partnership said: “We are determined to fight the stigma associated with mental ill-health that is so often associated with suicide, not just with men but with people of all genders and ages.

“We are delighted to be backing this international campaign of cut the toll suicide takes on individuals and communities. 

“Last year Together We’re Better Partnership hosted the first Suicide Prevention Conference which was attended by over 300 delegates. Together partners have an ambitious target of zero suicides.”

Anyone can seek help 24 hours a day by calling The Samaritans, free of charge, on 116 123.

Social media is using #WSPD to promote the day.