07 October 2019

Start a conversation this World Mental Health Day, says mental health trust

Suicide is devastating for all those affected and can have a profound effect on all those who knew the person who took their own life.

On World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October), Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust is encouraging everyone to make suicide their business.

The Trust, which supports people with mental health conditions across Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire, is urging everyone to speak openly about suicide to reduce the fear and stigma often associated with it.

Anthony Harrison, Suicide Prevention Lead for AWP, said: "The theme for this year's World Mental Health Day is suicide prevention. We want everyone to be comfortable about talking to their friends and loved ones about their feelings and we'd encourage those who are worried about someone to start a conversation. You never know, that conversation may just encourage someone to seek the help they need and it could even save their life."

The Trust is involved in a number of events taking place across the Avon and Wiltshire area on the day, where staff will be available to talk to people about mental health:

• Shine a light on mental health lantern procession through Bath. Leaving from the Royal Crescent at 6.45pm and finishing with food and music at Bath Abbey
• Dawn dog walk from Royal Sands, Weston-super-Mare, 7.15am, mass mindfulness session on Clevedon Pier, 6.15pm, procession along Clevedon seafront, 6.45pm and mental health pub quiz, 8pm, The Salthouse pub, Clevedon
• Fishing for wellbeing, Silver Springs Lake, Silver Street, Congresbury, BS49 5EY, 10am-2pm
• Former Bristol Rovers player Stuart Sinclair attending Recovery Through Sport as a guest coach for the mental health football team and taking part in a question and answer session, Shaftesbury Park, Frenchay Park Road, Winterbourne, BS16 1LG, 3.30pm
• Mental Health and Recovery photographic exhibition until 31st October at BaristaCats Café, Commercial Road, Swindon. Photographs are by members of AWP's Reflective Journeys Camera Club
• Arts therapy session at Sandalwood Court, Swindon, 10.30am - 2.30pm

• Free Family Fun Day at Bath City Farm on Saturday 12th October, Kelston View, Whiteway from 10:30am - 3:30pm.

Anthony continued: "As part of today, we want to highlight things people can do to help themselves or others. The Zero Suicide Alliance offers a 20 minute online training course, which is open to everyone. It gives you the skills to help those with suicidal thoughts and provides training to approach a conversation with someone who might be struggling, as well as real life scenarios and interviews with people who have lived through the impact of suicide.

"The Stay Alive app offers help and guidance to those who are at risk of suicide and features information and advice from AWP. With lots of useful information and tools to help individuals stay safe in a crisis, the app can help both people who may be having thoughts of suicide and those concerned about someone else."

The Zero Suicide Alliance training is available to everyone at www.zerosuicidealliance.com/

The Stay Alive app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Android Google Play:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stay-alive/id915458967 or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.org.suicideprevention.stayalive

If you are having suicidal thoughts or you are worried about someone:
It's important you talk to someone. There are lots of people who can help. In the first instance talk to your GP, who will be able to assess your situation and refer you to the right organisation for help.

If you are an existing AWP patient, contact the team outlined in your care plan or the Intensive Support Team identified to help you.

If you are in crisis or concerned about someone who is in immediate danger contact the emergency services on 999.

These free helplines are available to provide help:
Samaritans - call 116 123 or email jo@smaritans.org
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) for men - call 0800 58 58 58 5pm to midnight
Papyrus - for people under 35 - call 0800 068 41 41 10am-10pm Monday to Friday, 2pm-10pm weekends, 2pm-5pm bank holidays, email pat@papyrus-uk.org
Childline - for children and young people under 19 - call 0800 1111
The Silver Line - for older people - call 0800 4 70 80 90

 

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