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Take a minute, change a life

In the lead up to World Suicide Prevention Day, on Sunday 10 September, Warrington Borough Council is encouraging us all to reach out to others who are having a hard time, or struggling to cope.

The theme this year is “Take a minute, change a life” highlighting that just by showing compassion, offering words of support and listening in a non-judgemental way, we could make a significant difference to someone’s life. Research shows that every 90 minutes, someone in the UK takes their own life so we are asking everyone to take a minute and do something positive that could help change this.

Organisations across Warrington will be raising awareness of the support available and encouraging people to find the time to ask how family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues are, especially those who might be struggling. People will also be encouraged to reach out to support services, themselves, if they can’t cope and need help.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, executive board member for public health and wellbeing, said: “World Suicide Prevention Day reminds us that behind the statistics there are individual stories of those people who have questioned the value of their own lives. Taking a minute to reach out to someone whether they are a close family member, friend, or even a complete stranger, can change the course of their life.

“We know the devastating effects suicide has on families and communities and I would encourage people to consider, if you have a friend or family member you have been concerned about, take a minute to talk to them about how they are feeling and support them to access help.”

Make Time, Cheshire and Merseyside’s mental wellbeing campaign, encourages us all to connect with the people important to us and prompts us to think about and care for others. Around World Suicide Prevention Day Warrington Borough Council and partners will be encouraging local people to engage in the Make Time discussions on social media and share simple things they do to improve the way they feel. You can join in the discussions by using #maketimewarrington.

If you are finding it hard to cope, are feeling desperate or are having thoughts of suicide, you can talk to your GP or call the Warrington mental health assessment team on 01925 666 647, 24 hours a day. The assessment team is for people aged 18 and over with moderate to severe symptoms of mental health problems. Alternatively, you can also call the Samaritans on 116 123, Papyrus HOPELine UK (for young people) on 0800 068 41 41, or CALM (for men) on 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight).

These charities support people who are struggling, feeling suicidal or who are worried about a friend or family member.

For more information about local mental health support services, including services for people who are feeling suicidal, or who have been bereaved by suicide, visit happyoksad.org.uk

For more information about World Suicide Prevention Day visit iasp.info/wspd

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