Dozens of people joined a Hope Walk in Wolverhampton city centre to mark the end of Suicide Prevention Month.

The event, last Thursday, was organised by the Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum as an opportunity to spread the word that there is help and support available to people in the city who are feeling overwhelmed by life, are worried about someone else in that position, or who have been bereaved by suicide.

During the 90 minute walk, participants spoke to members of the public and visited organisations based around the city centre that offer help and support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Forum trustee Clare Dickens said: "We need everyone in Wolverhampton to know that suicidal thoughts are a sign to change something in their life, not to end their life, that it is possible to recover with the right support, and that their lives matter. 

"Our annual Hope Walk welcomed people together in order to share resources, stories and messages of hope across the city, and we enjoyed some fantastic engagement with members of public, university students and shoppers while handing out literature and support cards. 

"The amount of engagement with local barbers and hairdressers was particularly rewarding – recognising the vital role they play in people's lives that extends beyond tending to their hair. 

"For many people, attending their local hairdresser offers them a moment of relaxation and often they trust them with some of their struggles. When barbers and hairdressers ask if they are okay, they really do mean it and want to know the honest response.

"By working with them, we can ensure they are supported and so, in the event they get a disclosure that someone is considering their life is not worth living, they know how to give them safe, proportionate support and intervention."

People who are having a difficult time or who are worried about someone else are encouraged to contact:

  • The Samaritans on 116 123 or visit Samaritans.
  • Papyrus (for the prevention of suicide in the under 35s) on 0800 0684141, text 07786 209697 from 9am-midnight or visit Papyrus.
  • Kaleidoscope Plus Group Suicide Bereavement Support Group, visit Kaleidoscope Plus New Support Groups.

The Black Country 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.

Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum represents a range of key organisations and charities within the city, supported by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Public Health team, which all work closely together in order to prevent suicide.