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New funding for community groups aims to help prevent suicides across Lancashire and South Cumbria

New funding is being announced today for innovative community-based Lancashire and South Cumbria projects to help reduce the numbers of people taking their own lives.

The initiative is led by Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria which is the partnership of health, local authority, public sector, NHS and communities in the area. Community groups will have the opportunity to apply for funding between £500 and £5000 to support projects designed to prevent suicide and reduce self-harm which are key priorities of the NHS Long Term Plan published earlier this month.

£40,000 of funding is being made available for this initiative with a particular focus on reducing suicide by middle aged men and self-harm within local communities. Any community group, charity or organisation will be able to apply for the funding at www.healthierlsc.co.uk/suicidepreventionfund. The majority of the funding is likely to be awarded to local groups from the voluntary or charity sector in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Paul Hopley, Deputy Director for Mental Health for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “We will keep working tirelessly to reduce deaths by suicide. Most local people who take their own lives are not known to our specialist mental health services, so we’re reaching out to our communities to innovate, test new ideas and ways of helping people.”

“This new approach to working with communities aims to help people working in health and care to learn more about how to prevent suicide. We want to understand what makes a difference to people who are feeling suicidal or are self-harming and what works to keep them safe during those periods of their life.”

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health for Lancashire County Council, said: “This is funding for people to develop little or big ideas, with the ultimate goal of helping to prevent people taking their own life. By working together as a county, we can make a difference and help to prevent harm and save lives.

“This innovation grant is designed to fund grassroots programmes to prevent suicides, save lives and reduce self-harm. We know that in the right hands, a little can go a long way, so we want to support local groups who are doing so much to keep people safe.”

The fund is being overseen by a partnership of organisations including NHS, Local Authorities, Public Health and the Police which aim to reduce the risk of suicide and improve mental health and wellbeing which are significant challenges in Lancashire and South Cumbria and the rest of the country.

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