Hertfordshire County Council is marking World Suicide Prevention Day (Friday, September 10) this year by encouraging everyone to watch a free 20-minute online training presentation produced by Zero Suicide Alliance.
In Hertfordshire, there are around 100 deaths by suicide each year.
This is below the national average; but numbers have been increasing slightly each year since 2017.
Every suicide is a tragedy, so Hertfordshire’s vision is to become a county where no-one ever gets to a point where they feel suicide is their only option.
The training helps people know how to help someone who is in distress.
Hertfordshire’s Executive Member for Public Health and Community Safety, Morris Bright MBE, said: “This is such an important subject, we shouldn’t shy away from talking about it.
“With mental health issues increasing since the start of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we all play our part in looking out for each other, so we would urge everyone to give up 20 minutes of their time to watch the training presentation. It might just save a life”
Contrary to popular belief, asking someone if they are thinking about taking their own life does not make them more likely to act on their thoughts.
Dr Joanne Farrow, Deputy Medical Director and Suicide Prevention Lead for Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust said: “Many people are afraid of having a difficult conversation with someone they are worried about, because they don’t know what they should say.
“That’s why Hertfordshire’s suicide prevention network is working together to promote the training. It explains that it’s OK to talk about suicide and helps people understand how to help someone they are worried about by spotting the signs, knowing what to say and signposting to help.”
To do the training simply visit www.bit.ly/suicidepreventionherts or search Zero Suicide Alliance training online.
If you or someone you know is in need you can dial NHS111 and select option 2 anytime 24/7 for specialist mental health support or contact Samaritans free on 116 123
The Stay Alive App, a suicide prevention resource, is available in Hertfordshire.
It has tools to help keep people safe in times of crisis and details of the emergency or support services to contact in Hertfordshire.
It can be used if someone is experiencing difficulties with their mental health or having thoughts of suicide, or if they are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.
For more information visit suicidepreventionherts.org.uk