World Suicide Prevention Day: panel discuss complex issues at Southend event

Published Wednesday, 11th September 2019

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

The Southend Suicide Prevention Partnership Steering Group hosted an event offering open and honest conversation about this challenging subject on World Suicide Prevention Day (Tuesday 10 Sept 2019).

The Question Time style event, in which a panel of invited representatives from various organisations discussed strategies for preventing suicide and took questions from an assembled audience, focused particularly on working age men and took place at Roots Hall, Southend United Football Club’s stadium.

The theme for 2019’s World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’ and the day aims to bring together organisations from around the globe to raise awareness that suicide can be prevented through the collective efforts of individuals, organisations and societies.

Within Southend-on-Sea 1 adult life is lost to suicide every month.  Patterns of suicide in Southend-on-Sea are similar to national trends:

  • men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women and suicide rates are highest amongst men aged 45 to 54 years
  • those who have been bereaved by suicide may also be at higher risk of suicide.

At the event, discussions which took place on the day included the impact of suicide, supporting men’s mental wellbeing, suicide prevention in Southend-on-Sea and how to start a conversation around suicide.

Organisations that were represented on the panel include the Department of Work and Pensions, Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Essex Shed Network, Industrial Metal Services, Southend Samaritans and the Southend Suicide Prevention Partnership Steering Group.

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “Suicide is a significant cause of death in men and is a major issue for society. It is often the end point of a complex history of risk factors and distressing events, but there are many ways in which services, communities, individuals and society as a whole can help to prevent suicides.

“The event held on World Suicide Prevention Day brought various organisations from around the Southend area together, to have an open discussion about what can be a taboo subject and to suggest ways to reduce suicide as a whole.”

Background

Anyone can experience suicidal thoughts at any time in their life. An overwhelming change in circumstances can be to blame but more often than not it is a small thing that can act as a trigger. Outwardly, life can appear to be going on as normal.

It can be difficult initiating a conversation with someone you are worried about, but often just giving people the opportunity to speak about their feelings allows them to start the journey to recovery.

If you’re struggling to cope, help and support is available 24/7 from the Samaritans. Call 116 123. Further information and resources on suicide prevention can be found at the The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) website.