St Helens Council has arranged for the Steve Prescott Bridge to be lit in multiple colours this Saturday evening (9 September) as a way of highlighting suicide prevention ahead of a global awareness day.
Held each year on 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day is an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In the UK and ROI, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year – an average of 18 a day.
In a bid to reduce the number of male suicide rates across the borough, members of the council’s Healthy Living team – along with other council services and partner organisations – will be on hand in St Helens town centre on Saturday afternoon to reassure men that ‘It’s Okay to Talk.’
Their stall – which will be opened by the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens at 2:30pm, and coincides with the annual town centre classic car show – will mark the start of a months’ worth of activities leading up to World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10 October.
St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Gill Neal, said: “In St Helens between 2014 and 2016, out of 72 cases concerning deaths by suicide and undetermined injury, 85 per cent involved men.
“Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time, or those who have become disconnected from others can be a game changer.
“With male footfall in the town centre likely to be high that day as a result of the classic car show, I’d strongly encourage a visit to our marquee, where men are open to chat to our dedicated team about any issues they may have.”