A campaign to reduce the growing number of suicides in Lincolnshire is calling on local businesses and organisations to pledge to offer better support for those at risk.
As part of a new suicide prevention local action plan for Lincolnshire, a campaign has been launched for World Suicide Prevention Day (Saturday, September 10).
Dubbed ‘Lincolnshire Suicide SAFE’ (Supporting Awareness For Everyone), organisations are being encouraged to sign up to a ‘charter’ to pledge to:
- Develop a culture where people are comfortable talking about difficult issues
- Raise awareness of suicide – using the Suicide SAFE toolkit of posters and useful information
- Help recognise the signs and triggers for those at risk and support vulnerable individuals
- Learn how to respond to someone who may be at risk
During 2014, there were 67 deaths recorded as due to suicide or injury undetermined in Lincolnshire, eight more than the previous year. The average rate of suicide in the county remains above the national average.
A City of Lincoln Council report previously underlined risk factors behind soaring suicide rates in the area, including deprivation, unemployment and alcohol and drug misuse.
Dr Kakoli Chaudhary, Public Health Consultant at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “All agencies in Lincolnshire have been working together on the local action plan to help reduce the number of suicides in the county. A key part of this is through raising awareness of the causes and help available.”
Dr Sue Elcock, Medical Director from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The effects of suicide can be devastating and the impact can be felt widely in a community.
“Suicide is often the end point of a complex history of risk factors and distressing events, but often people don’t give any indication that they might be having suicidal thoughts. Simply asking people how they are, listening and being supportive can make a real difference.”
Posters and conversation cards are also being issued with information on how to talk to people you are worried about.
More information including the suicide prevention local action plan, can be found online here.
Organisations interested in signing up to the Suicide SAFE charter should email
The Lincolnite previously spoke with a number of suicide survivors about what lies behind the “I’m okay” mask.