Borough comes together to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

Published Monday 13 September 2021 at 11:50

Gatherings of people braved the rain to pay their respects to those who have lost their lives to suicide.

Vigils were held in Blackburn and Darwen town centres on Friday, September 10 to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

A 40 second’s silence fell upon the crowds to signify that one person dies of suicide around the world every 40 seconds.

The events were hosted by Blackburn with Darwen Council, supported by Blackburn with Darwen Suicide Prevention Strategy Group and key local partner organisations.

The multi-faith events involved speeches from Councillors, multi-faith representatives, volunteers and those whose lives have been impacted by suicide  aimed to amplify an ongoing programme of events, activities, training opportunities and suicide awareness raising in the borough.

They also invited people to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s shoes’ around the town centre.

This year’s events were particularly poignant with the sad death of local suicide prevention advocate, Tony Harrison, earlier in this year. Tony was a tireless advocate for the cause after losing his only child, Vicky, to suicide in 2010.

The vigils also paid tribute to those in our communities who have completed a Suicide Prevention Course. These members of the community were distinguishable by their Orange Buttons or yellow sashes. The Orange Button scheme is a way of showing others in your community who are having thoughts of suicide, or are worried about somebody else, and help them access support.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

Between 2017 and 2019, 33 people took their own life in Blackburn with Darwen. One in every 100 deaths worldwide is the result of suicide. Each and every suicide is devastating and has a profound impact on those around them.

Councillor Brian Taylor, an advocate for mental health and suicide prevention, said:

World Suicide Prevention Day was an opportunity to raise awareness of suicide and to create hope through action to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts.

If you would like to complete Suicide Prevention training and become an Orange Badge holder find out more or complete the online training.

There are many services and organisations available to support people’s mental health and wellbeing. A list has been gathered together here.

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