A new campaign is being launched in Dudley to encourage people to talk about suicide and raise awareness of support services available to them.
Dudley’s Suicide Prevention Partnership, championed by Dudley Health and Wellbeing Board, launched the borough-wide suicide awareness campaign this week.
The ‘reach out’ campaign aims to improve suicide awareness, provide support to people and encourage those affected by suicide to speak up.
A new website – www.reachoutdudley.co.uk – has been created and signposts people towards support services, people and organisations who can offer help.
It will be accompanied by a high-profile poster campaign carrying the message “It’s ok to talk about suicide” on bus shelters, council billboards and in community settings. Social media will also be used to convey the message.
Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:
In today’s world, fast-paced and full of pressures as it is, suicide rates continue to be much higher than we would like.
In Dudley, approximately one person dies every fortnight.
Nationally, three quarters of those who die as the result of suicide are not known to specialist services nor do they have diagnosed mental health disorders.
We want to raise awareness through this campaign. It’s especially important at this time of year, when there can be additional pressures on people.
We want to show that there is always a way out and a way forward, that there are groups and people out there who can help.
I would urge anyone having such thoughts to have a look on the website, to make that first contact, take that first step and reach out.
It’s ok to talk about suicide.”
The campaign will run until January 31 – but support will continue to be available beyond that via the new website.
The campaign runs alongside a new five-year Dudley Suicide Prevention Plan, which has an overall aim of zero suicides in the borough by 2023. It will seek to improve training for staff, raise awareness and target high risk groups to offer more support and guidance.