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Staffordshire community urged to ‘Just Say Something’ in life-saving campaign.
Former Blue Peter host Anthea Turner has joined Lou Macari, Nathan Healey, and organisations across Staffordshire to raise awareness of suicide prevention.
The campaign, Just Say Something, is a pledge to empower people and ultimately save lives.
Through charitable organisation Brighter Futures, Staffordshire Police, and Staffordshire County Council, the county has come together to create a free video and spark conversations about thoughts of suicide and awareness.
Any death of a loved one, friend, family member, work colleague, or even that of someone you knew through social circles can have a devasting and profound effect on those touched. A host of celebrities and organisations have joined forces with a shared goal to save lives in our community.
Suicide remains the most preventable cause of death in England – with figures showing 5,691 registered deaths in 2019. That’s a staggering one every 90 minutes. Male suicide also continues to be three times higher than females – a trend that’s continued since the mid-’90s.
It is hoped that this video won’t only be a valuable resource for someone in need but, help others to start a conversation with someone they’re concerned about.
Sophie Henaughan, Manager of the Suicide Prevention Community Champions project at Brighter Futures, says: "The importance of talking about mental health cannot be overstressed. As a community, we must do more to help each other and start talking about our mental health. One in five people think about suicide in their lifetime, one in fifteen attempt it. These are alarming figures.
“With suicide rates increasing, we must come together and find ways of engaging in conversations. They could be lifesaving.
“The Just Say Something campaign helps to drive change, towards a mentally healthy society for all and supports our local communities across Staffordshire. We want people to lead healthy lives by encouraging more to speak out and talk about their mental health. Just one conversation could save a person’s life. Let’s start talking more."
PCSO Keith Mellor, who works in Staffordshire Police’s Early Intervention Unit as part of the Harm Reduction Hub in Longton, said: “Often we go out to jobs where an individual is attempting to harm themselves, and members of the public have managed to get this individual to safety.
“When we speak to members of the public, they always say ‘I didn’t know what to say’ but whatever they said, it often works.
“That’s the aim of this campaign, to encourage people to talk to each other, to reach out to people who may be in distress and ask them how they are.
“They may say ‘fine’ but don’t be afraid to ask again, and again, and you may get a different answer.
“Just a kind word, a friendly face and a smile can make all the difference to people who may be contemplating taking their own lives.
“The people of Staffordshire, and particularly Stoke-on-Trent, are renowned for being approachable and friendly, and the campaign is focussed on using this at a grassroots level to help vulnerable people.
“Do not be afraid to speak to someone who you may think is in danger and do not worry about not knowing what to say. Anything you say will help and possibly make a lasting difference to someone’s life.
“It may even save a life.”
Support and sources of help
Emergency support: If someone is in immediate danger or has harmed themselves, call 999 and ask for an ambulance, or take them to A&E at their local hospital.
Crisis support: North Staffordshire urgent mental health helpline: call 0800 0 328 728 (opt.1) an impairment or can't use the phone, text 07739 775202. South Staffordshire urgent mental health helpline: call 0808 196 3002 (covers Stafford, Stone, Rugeley, Cannock, South Staffs, Lichfield, Burton, Uttoxeter, Tamworth).
Brighter futures: Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline - a confidential emotional support helpline, offering a safe place to talk. Call 0808 800 2234 / Text 0786 002 2821.
The self-harm support and recovery service: for Staffordshire adults over 18 who are living with self-harm/sucidial thoughts where a hospital visit or admission is neither wanted or needed. For a direct referall contact Access Team. Telephone: 0300 123 0907 Opt11 (Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire) Telephone: 0800 196 3002 (South Staffordshire) or further information on how the service can help call 07824 505 538.
Other helpline: Samaritans: Call 116 123 / [email protected]
Changes: recovery, wellbeing, and peer support workshops. Call: 01782 413101 Email: [email protected]
Womens Wellbeing Club: peer support group meeting for Stafofrdshire residents. Email: [email protected]
Men Unite: A social and support group for men across Staffordshire. 24hr online support via Facebook and a weekly drop in session.
Andys Man Club: Free mental health peer support sessions for men in Stafford and surrounding towns. Email: [email protected]
Mind North Staffordshire: Counselling/advice, parent support, social groups, phone: 01782 262100 or email: [email protected]
Mind Burton: Counselling, support groups and advice for people in Burton, Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth, phone: 01283 566696, email: [email protected]
Bereavement: Grieving when someone dies by suicide can be incredibly difficult. Support is available - Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS). Call: 0300 111 5065 or the local SOBS support group in Uttoxeter on 07950 269 539.
Help is at Hand - An NHS booklet for people bereaved by suicide. Search: 'Help is at Hand'
Tools: Stay Alive App - Free App with a range of suicide prevention support tools.
More info: Staffordshire Mental Health Suicide Prevention Champions. Brighter futures via email: [email protected]