World Suicide Prevention Day: Greater Manchester taking new approach to tackling issue

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day and Greater Manchester is playing an important role in raising awareness about the heartbreaking issue which affects so many.

In the UK and Ireland, more than 6,000 people take their own lives each year, with 277 suicides registered in Greater Manchester in 2014.

Now, new approaches are set to be taken later this year which includes using technology to signpost people to support services. 

Jim Battle, Chair of the Greater Manchester Mental Health Strategic Partnership Board, said: “There is a lot of work underway across Greater Manchester to coordinate and share best practice around suicide prevention.”

This year an online campaign, called ‘#22Pushups’, saw social media users raising awareness by nominating each other to perform a string of push-ups.

While the original campaign was inspired by statistics which showed 22 war veterans commit suicide each day, Salford also launched their own version, called ‘#22toomany’, which coincided with staff from the Clinical Commissioning Group running in the recent Salford 10k.

Mr Battle added: “I’m fully supportive of the work Salford are doing, with all the agencies working together to ensure that the right support is available when people are in crisis. This is the kind of work I want to see in Greater Manchester.”

Suicide is just one of many mental illness-related issues that are being tackled in Greater Manchester.

Since the Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy was launched earlier this year, there has been the launch of 24-hour mental health services available for children and young people, better access to community-based services and more work with employers about these issues.

As well, on Monday September 26, there will be a full-day conference where voluntary and faith organisations will come together to find out more about how mental health services are transforming around Greater Manchester.

The event will also offer an opportunity for those involved to discuss best practice and develop new ways to work with health and social care organisations to improve the services they are providing.

Image courtesy of Victor on Flickr, with thanks.

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