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Suicide awareness day held in Lincoln church

Head of Communications at Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Samantha Keating (left), NHS ASIST Administrator Sue Broadbent (centre), and event organiser Rita Blackler (right)

People affected by suicide were given free guidance and support in a Lincoln church on Thursday, in an effort to promote greater awareness of the illness.

Around 60 people across Lincolnshire commit suicide each year. The county’s suicide rate, which is higher than the national average, has shown a slight decrease over recent years.

The event, organised by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, gave information, practical support and guidance for people who have been affected by suicide.

Representatives from The Samaritans, Mental Health Lincolnshire SOS and Shine were among the charities giving advice at The New Life Conference Centre, in Newland.

The conference was held in support of National Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, September 10.

Suicide awareness trainer and event organiser, Rita Blackler, said: “We want people who are despairing and thinking about suicide to know that there is help available. Events like these are really important because we’re trying to make society more suicide aware.”

“There’s a stigma and taboo about suicide in society and we want to get more people talking about it. The more aware society is of suicide, the safer people will become.”

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation offers services to help people overcome depression, and free courses to raise awareness of suicide.

The World Health Organisation reports approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year, or one death every 40 seconds.

“The aware people are, the easier it is for people to talk about their feelings. Hopefully the awareness we raise will help lower the suicide rate,” said Rita.