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Reach out to others call as city marks Suicide Prevention Day

Organisations in Wolverhampton will be seeking to break the taboo around mental health as the city marks World Suicide Prevention Day with a week long programme of events.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is organising a series of activities and are encouraging people to help raise awareness of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing - while also helping to tackle some of the stigma which surrounds the issue.

Though suicide rates in Wolverhampton are below the West Midlands average and falling, 64 people, mainly men, took their own lives between 2012 and 2014.

The events taking place in the run up to World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday 10 September will aim to get people thinking about their own mental health and wellbeing, and that of others, and to highlight the help and support which is available locally.

They include information sessions at the Epic Café Health and Wellbeing Hub on Lichfield Street on Monday 5 September and Thursday 8 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm and 3pm to 5pm on both days, and at the Tiranga South Asian arts festival at Bob Jones Community Hub on Sunday 11 September.

Dudley Mind's Jolly Joggers will be meeting at West Park on Saturday 3 September at 10.15am, while a special Walking for Health session will take place at West Park on Wednesday 7 September at 10am. Customers at Epic Café and the Civic Centre's café will receive leaflets setting out Five Ways to Wellbeing throughout the week.

Individuals will be encouraged to Go Orange on Wednesday 7 September and wear something orange to show their support for the campaign, while orange and yellow ribbons will be on sale at the Civic Centre and Epic Café to raise money for PAPYRUS, an organisation which aims to prevent suicide among young people.

PAPYRUS will be running training sessions which will be delivered to employees from the council and other organisations across the city who come into contact with people at risk of suicide or acute distress, and individuals, schools.

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The council and its partners are committed to tackling stigma around mental health and discrimination.

"These activities are not only designed to raise awareness of the issues, but also highlight services like Samaritans Wolverhampton and PAPYRUS which can help people who are going through a troubling period in their lives.

"The message is clear; if you or someone you know is in a dark place, don't suffer in silence - help and support is out there."

Samaritans' Wolverhampton provides confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. However, many of its calls are not about suicide, but from people who feel upset or confused and just want to talk to someone.

Vernon Dodd, branch director, said: "This year we are celebrating 50 years in Wolverhampton and we are really proud that Samaritans has been helping people through difficult times for such a long time.

"People can contact us at any time of day or night. There are many ways to get in touch, including email and text, as well as by phone and visiting the branch to speak to a volunteer face to face."

For help and support, contact Samaritans Wolverhampton by calling 01902 420591 or call free on 116 123, visiting its office at 54 Newhampton Road West, logging on to Samaritans or emailing jo@samaritans.org.

PAPYRUS provides support for young people and for more details, please visit Papyrus - prevention of young suicide, call 0800 068 4141, text 07786 209697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org.

  • released: Friday 19 August, 2016