Suicide Prevention website launches to support the North East and North Cumbria

8th April 2020

The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network is a regional partnership of organisations and individuals, collaborating across different agencies and communities, to help enhance and support all suicide prevention activity across the region. We are working to ensure everything possible is done to get support and information to help people stay safe, and to manage their mental health and wellbeing during this incredibly difficult and stressful time.

We are working across the NHS, social care and other front-line services to link up with local charities and community resilience groups to make sure we can coordinate our efforts and get support and information to people who need it as efficiently and effectively as possible. As part of our varied approach to this, today we are launching our new Suicide Prevention Network website, covering the whole North East and North Cumbria area.

The website will provide a new community resource for people seeking help and advice about suicide and mental wellbeing, guidance for those who have sadly been bereaved by suicide, and signposting to a library of professional resources for those working in suicide prevention. Our online presence is supported by our social media accounts, sharing key messages and making new connections on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

To enable us to reach those vulnerable members of the public who may not have access to online support, we have commissioned Every Life Matters Cumbria to produce a detailed printed booklet. The booklet has been produced with contributions from a wide group of Network members including people with lived experience, senior clinicians and the national NCISH team. It contains both self-help information and links for mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak, including signposting for urgent support and suicide prevention. This will be available across the region with distribution following a phased approach, initially targeting vulnerable groups.

Making good information easily accessible to people is especially important during this current crisis, particularly so that people in our communities who are more at-risk and vulnerable and were already struggling can access the support they need. People finding social isolation even more difficult are perhaps feeling there is less support available, so we are working together to make sure they know where and how to get help.

We are working with NHS England and Public Health England, and the national focus is rightly on the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping people safe from contracting and spreading the virus. We also, however, want to make sure everyone, particularly the vulnerable people in our region, are aware of and can easily access the emotional support they need to stay mentally safe and well.

Prevention measures and maintaining good mental health and wellbeing are key to supporting people to stay safe and well through times of crisis like this. The North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network team will therefore be working closely with mental health and wellbeing services across the region to enhance support in the coming weeks and months.

The need to focus on the general mental health and wellbeing of the wider population during this crisis – following the national Public Health England ‘Every Mind Matters’ programme – is already recognised as a public health priority. The aim of the North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network – ‘Every Life Matters’ – is to do everything possible to stop us losing any life to suicide and complements the wider public health approach. There is a risk of a potential increase in suicides, and therefore acting early and proactively will help mitigate this risk.

The Suicide Prevention Network is especially focused on people in our communities who are more at risk and already struggling, and for whom the current situation poses a potential increased risk. People who are vulnerable and finding social isolation even more difficult may be feeling there is less support available, so we are working together to make sure people are aware of and can easily access the support they need to stay mentally safe and well.

We are working to redirect resources so we can continue to take action to help meet our Network aims:

  • Promote wellbeing and resilience.
  • Reduce the number of suicides, including in high-risk groups, across the
  • Reduce the incidence of self-harm and repeated self-harm.
  • Reduce the impact of self-harm and suicide.
  • Reduce the stigma of self-harm and suicide.

As a well-established Network, we have been able to quickly adapt and respond to the current crisis. We are already working together across the NHS, social care and other front-line services to link up with local charities, businesses and community resilience groups to make sure we can coordinate our efforts and get support and information to people as quickly as we can and for as long as needed.

Contact us: england.everylifematters@nhs.net

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