Cheshire and Merseyside has been awarded Suicide-Safer Community status by Living Works, the world’s leading suicide prevention training company.
This award is symbolic of the hard work of colleagues and partners from across Cheshire and Merseyside over the last five years, implementing the NO MORE Suicide Strategy together.
The sub-region fulfils all the high standards required for the accreditation through an improvement approach to working. This is difficult to achieve for one locally, so to have been successful as a sub-region is a tremendous accomplishment.
It is testament to the excellent integrated working, innovation and cross-cutting programmes that Cheshire and Merseyside partners deliver as system leaders.
In order to be recognised as a Suicide-Safer Community, there are ten areas of community action that must be addressed. These include training, suicide bereavement, leadership and mental health promotion.
There is still much more to be done in order to achieve zero suicides in the regions but this award signals great progress.
Sue Forster, Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board and Director of Public Health for St Helens said “So many people have contributed towards this prestigious accolade. I am grateful for their dedication and support. We truly have a fantastic partnership approach to suicide prevention and have achieved many things from training to awareness raising campaigns and supporting those bereaved by suicide.
“On behalf of the NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board I would like to thank all colleagues and partners who have helped us achieve this award. As we refresh the NO MORE Suicide strategy and action plan, we will continue to work together in our aim to reach zero suicide in Cheshire & Merseyside.”
Louise Gittins, lead elected member for Suicide Prevention in Cheshire & Merseyside and Leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council added: “I am delighted to hear that Cheshire & Merseyside have received this award.
“I have been so impressed with the work that has been carried out to prevent suicide in our area and have seen the dedication and commitment of the Board, operational groups and partners throughout Cheshire & Merseyside. I look forward to working with colleagues in the future on this important public health issue.”
Dr Matt Tyrer, acting director of public health at Cheshire East Council, said: “Suicide and mental health are topics that many people feel unable to talk about for fear of being misunderstood or others being judgemental.
“This award and the training behind it will allow the public health team at Cheshire East Council, and teams across the sub region, to be well equipped with the necessary skills to work with partners and residents to spread awareness, offer support and to reduce stigma.
“Ultimately improving our mental health and wellbeing and feeling empowered to talk about how we are feeling will help us to reach zero suicides in Cheshire East.”
The award will be celebrated and acknowledged at the World Suicide Prevention Day webinar led by Champs Collaborative on the 10th September 'Hope and Recovery in the time of COVID-19'. Registration for this webinar will open shortly.