Child Action Northwest (CANW) is encouraging people to check the welfare of any friends or family they have concerns about as part of World Suicide Prevention Day. The theme of this year’s awareness day, on Monday 10th September, is #YouCanTalk, emphasising that you don’t need to be a healthcare professional to keep an eye on a person you’re worried about.
#YouCanTalk is all about giving people the confidence to have that conversation by connecting them with resources to support them, tools which CANW is sharing during September to coincide with Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide rates in Lancashire are at a high, with Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures from 2016 showing that between 2012 and 2014, Preston had the highest suicide rate of all English local authorities and Hyndburn the seventh highest.
Stuart Chaplin, Strategic Director said: “While it’s a worrying statistic to know how common suicide is in our local area, especially in recent years, we’re taking all the steps we can to empower people to start conversations with anyone they’re worried about. “We’ll be sharing lots of tips on our social media channels on the 10th and throughout September in the hope that it gets people talking about what is unfortunately still a taboo topic for many.”
Suicide prevention is currently a national priority and the action plan across Lancashire includes a focus on key high-risk groups:
- Young men
- People in the care of mental health services, including inpatients
- People with a history of self-harm
- People in contact with the criminal justice system
- Specific occupational groups such as doctors, nurses, veterinary workers, farmers and agricultural workers.
Stuart continued: “This is by no means an exhaustive list of where we’re focusing our efforts – we aim to help any young person in our local area who needs support. Whether that’s a listening ear, help with rehabilitation, building up resilience or counselling, CANW’s door is open.