As part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday 10 September, Kent County Council is reminding people of a special 24-hour free helpline.
The helpline – which aims to reduce the number of suicides by encouraging men feeling under pressure to seek help – has seen a 76 per cent increase in male callers since it was launched last year as part of the KCC campaign “Release the Pressure”.
In Kent, in 2016, there was a decrease in the numbers of people taking their own lives with 140 suicides being registered by coroners. Of these, 104 (74%) were men which shows a slight fall from 116 male suicides the previous year but the rate of suicide in the county is still higher than the national average.*
Kent County Council has since been awarded up to £100,000 from the mental health programme at Health Education England, KSS, to be spent delivering suicide prevention training to organisations and voluntary sector groups to improve the support available for people when they are going through rough patches in their lives. If you would like to register your interest in attending the free training which will be delivered later in the year, please email email@example.com
World Suicide Prevention Day is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization. This year’s theme is “Take a minute, change a life.”
In support, residents are being reminded of the KCC funded helpline which is free and confidential, and provided by an independent charity Mental Health Matters (MHM).
KCC Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “Given that the majority of these men are not in contact with mental health services before they take their own lives, they are a very difficult group to reach through traditional interventions. The helpline continues to be a lifeline and we encourage anyone who is feeling the pressure at the moment to take a minute and talk to someone as it really could change their life. We also urge friends and family of people who may be going through a rough patch, to point them in the direction of crucial support which could prevent them harming themselves.”
The “Release the Pressure” campaign urges people to seek help by calling 0800 107 0160 where support is available from trained and experienced staff on this freephone number, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There is also a website for more details and case studies of men from Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide www.releasethepressure.uk