The Orange Button Community Scheme in Lancashire and South Cumbria has achieved a significant milestone having signed up 2,500 members.
The suicide prevention scheme, which launched in September 2020, sees Orange Button ‘wearers’ train to be able to listen to and support people who are struggling and are having thoughts of suicide, and signpost them to appropriate services.
Those with the training typically display their orange buttons on their clothing to let people around them know that they are available to help.
Helen Parry, project lead for the Orange Button Scheme within Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board – which organises healthcare services in the region – said that the aim is to have as many people trained up as possible.
She said: “I’m delighted that we now have 2,500 Orange Button wearers, and many of those are very active and keen to promote this vital service.
“It is still only in the very early stages, but we want as many people as possible to know what an Orange Button means, and for as many volunteers as possible to undertake the specialist training.
“The Lancashire and South Cumbria region has some of the highest suicide rates across the country, so the need to gain vital skills and knowledge to combat these preventable deaths has never been more important.”
The Orange Button training is delivered by organisations such as Every Life Matters and Lancashire Mind, and gives people the skills to identify when people around them are showing signs of mental health concerns and be able to support a person before they have further thoughts of harm. It also gives you self-care information to look after your own mental health while supporting those around you.
More information about the scheme is available at www.healthierlsc.co.uk/OrangeButtonScheme-1 and the training can be booked for individuals and workplaces by contacting Lancashire Mind. Full details here.