£5,000 worth of funding is being provided to offer suicide prevention training for professionals working with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse in Wolverhampton.

The City of Wolverhampton Council has secured funds from the Black Country Integrated Care System for the joint initiative, which will deliver training to organisations and give staff the knowledge and skills they need to support someone who may be at risk.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "While rates of suicide in Wolverhampton have thankfully decreased in recent years, and are now at the lowest we have seen, suicide prevention continues to be a key public health priority.

"Various studies recognise that people suffering from, involved in or perpetrating domestic abuse are at increased risk of suicide, due to the trauma they have experienced or continue to endure, with research reporting that around a third of suspected suicides had been impacted by domestic abuse in one way or another. 

"Similarly, professionals can be equally negatively impacted through their work with victims and perpetrators. 

"Training professionals to increase their knowledge and skills so that they are better equipped to respond to and help services users, members of the community and colleagues in times of distress, is a key way in which we can help prevent suicide."

Clare Dickens MBE, Chair of the multi-agency Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum, said: “We know that anyone experiencing domestic abuse is at greater risk of declining good mental well being, and the imminent refreshed national suicide prevention strategy will recognise this issue and bring a real focus on what organisations and individuals can do to help those experiencing domestic abuse in the context of suicide prevention. 

"These funds are very welcome and will support our local work by helping professionals who care for and support people experiencing domestic abuse."

Popinder Kaur, Chief Executive of The Haven Wolverhampton which supports women and children experiencing domestic abuse, said: “The Haven Wolverhampton welcomes the recognition and training in relation to the links between domestic abuse and suicide.

“Research shows that the drivers to suicide for domestic abuse victims include the mental, emotional, and psychological impact of their experiences. Women in contact with health services may be diagnosed with depression, or other disorders and prescribed anti-depressants, where the underlying cause of their health diagnosis is domestic abuse.

“We welcome the training to help develop awareness and support for professionals to put in measures to help prevent suicide linked to domestic abuse.” 

St George’s Hub supports men and their children experiencing domestic abuse. Tom Lane, Male Domestic Abuse Keyworker, said: “Men often find it hard to talk about their feelings and this is the reason suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK.

“This training will help professionals and volunteers access resources to help vulnerable men to protect themselves and seek support. 

“Male victims of domestic abuse are three times more likely to attempt suicide than men who have not suffered abuse, and the training will also help to remove the stigma that men can often feel as a victim and urge them to seek help and talk about their personal issues.” 

There is a range of help and support available in Wolverhampton for people experiencing domestic abuse and having feelings of distress or despair.

The Haven Wolverhampton supports women and children experiencing domestic abuse. Call the 24-hour helpline on 08000 194 400, text or WhatsApp (9am to 7pm) via 07719 558183 or live chat at The Haven (weekdays 9am to 7pm). 

St George’s Hub supports men and their children experiencing domestic abuse. Call 01902 421904, email info@st-georges-house.org.uk or visit St George’s Hub.  

If you are having a difficult time or if you are worried about someone else, contact The Samaritans on 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org. Emails will be replied to within 24 hours.

The Black County Partnership NHS Trust's mental health support line is available to residents of all ages who are experiencing mental distress and require urgent support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by calling 0800 008 6516.

The Rethink Emotional Support Helpline is a freephone service for those in need of support, reassurance and understanding. It is open Monday to Friday from 6pm to 3am and weekends from 2pm to 3am on 0808 802 2208.

Wolverhampton Healthy Minds – for people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety and stress – can be contacted on 0800 923 0222 or 01902 441856, by visiting Wolverhampton Healthy Minds or emailing wolverhampton.healthyminds@bcpft.nhs.uk.