Published Thursday 6 September 2018 at 13:02
Blackburn with Darwen Council has joined forces with a national alliance that is aiming to eradicate suicide in the UK as part of its drive on suicide prevention.
The Zero Suicide Alliance’s coalition of like-minded partners are working together to help rid the UK of suicide by initially raising awareness of a free online suicide prevention training programme.
The free training, which takes just 20 minutes, teaches people how to recognise the warning signs and safeguard someone that could be contemplating suicide, talking openly to them and then directing them to appropriate support services.
The Council has agreed to formally sign up to a zero suicide agreement to be an active part of the alliance. It is also committed to promote the training both internally to Councillors, staff, those who carry out services on behalf of the Council, as well as externally via its many public-facing services and through partners and across Blackburn with Darwen’s communities.
Every 40 seconds someone somewhere around the world dies by suicide and, in the UK, it is the leading cause of death of young people under 35. Suicide rates in Blackburn with Darwen are higher than national average.
Blackburn with Darwen Council’s move to join forces with the Zero Suicide Alliance comes on the back of the local authority choosing suicide prevention as one of its key corporate campaigns to support this year given the growing awareness of this vitally important issue both locally and nationally.
Councillor Brian Taylor, Executive Member for Health and Adult Social Care and local Mental Health Champion, said:
Joining forces with the Zero Suicide Alliance is another fantastic development in our drive on suicide prevention. It’s vital we create a community-wide response on taking part in, and promoting the training as it avoids tragedy but it also means our communities are stronger as the impact of a death is wide ranging.
The concept that no life lost to suicide is acceptable is powerful and really focusses minds. It is a real motivating factor for us when planning our year-long programme of suicide awareness raising. Alongside all of our partner organisations we can build momentum and spread the message throughout Blackburn with Darwen that there is hope and it is possible to heal.