The walk was organised by Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum as part of Papyrus' national Hopewalk campaign to lift the lid on suicide and get people talking about it in order to #smashthestigma.
The Hopewalk began from St Peter's Square outside the Civic Centre and followed a circular 2 and a half mile route around the city centre. People were encouraged to walk the whole way, or join in part way along.
Walkers carried leaflets about the help and support available in Wolverhampton to give out to members of the public, and visited the premises of some of the Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum members to raise awareness of the help and support they provide.
In all, around 60 people joined the walk, representing a mix of organisations including P3, West Midlands Police, the City of Wolverhampton Council, Recovery Near You, the University of Wolverhampton, The Recovery College, Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, Positive Participation, the Refugee Migrant Centre and many more.
Some walkers collected donations from members of the to the Mayor of Wolverhampton's Charitable Fund, as Mayor Councillor Claire Darke has nominated suicide prevention work as one of the Mayoral Charities this year.
Mayor Councillor Darke, who joined the Hopewalk along with her consort Paul Darke, said: "The Hopewalk showcased the good work being done by organisations and individuals across Wolverhampton to support people at their greatest time of need.”
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, added: "The council and its partners are committed to tackling stigma around mental health and suicide, and to highlight the help and support which is available to 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.”
People who experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide are encouraged to contact:
- The Papyrus Hopeline, phone 0800 068 4141, text 0788 620 9697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Samaritans Wolverhampton, call 116 123 free from any phone, 24 hours per day 365 days of the year, or visit its office at 54 Newhampton Road West, log on to Samaritans or email email@example.com.
Both provide a confidential listening service and will help with any overwhelming thoughts or feelings, or ones that make life feel like it’s not worth living.