People across Cheshire East are being urged to give up just 20 minutes of their time to take free suicide prevention training and help save a life.
Across the UK around 6,000 people die by suicide each year and far too many tragic deaths by suicide happen in our own area. Every suicide has a huge impact on the people affected by it – and the emotional and social effects are enormous.
The significant rise in awareness and acceptance of mental illness has meant that this once rarely spoken about issue now has a greater level of commitment to its reduction than ever before.
The appeal coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) and
comes from the Cheshire and Merseyside NO MORE suicide partnership board (a collaboration of partners working to prevent suicide), a member of the Zero Suicide Alliance (ZSA).
ZSA aims to improve suicide awareness and promote free suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.
In the time it takes to make and enjoy a cup of tea (20 minutes), the free online course provides the training to approach a difficult conversation with someone who is struggling. It provides real life scenarios and interviews with people who have lived through the impact of suicide.
The training is aimed at people from all walks of life – not just clinicians and other healthcare workers – and the ZSA hopes it will better prepare people to help friends, loved ones or family members that may be considering taking their own life.
This high-quality, engaging course entitled ‘Zero Suicide: Basic Awareness’ is available on the ZSA website: www.zerosuicidealliance.com
Councillor Liz Wardlaw, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for health said: “The NO MORE suicide partnership board has a vision for Cheshire and Merseyside, where suicide is eliminated and people are supported at a time of crisis.
“We aim to be a ‘suicide safer community’-accredited region and, by encouraging individuals to take this training, the more support we will have in ensuring that our vision becomes a reality.”
To further underline the need to reach out to those in need, the Zero Suicide Alliance has released a catchy summer anthem and music video. Talk 2 Me’ is written and performed by Zorro Rudasumbwa, a mental health professional who originally came to the UK from Kenya.
Zorro explained: “I realised that whatever the weather people can struggle to find someone to talk to. That’s bad because the more people don’t open up, have issues locked into their heads and hearts, the more prone they are to depression or anxiety or worse.
“If they feel they have someone to talk to, someone who will reach out to them, then it can make a real difference – it could be a life saver.”