The number of deaths from suicide in Lambeth stands at 17 each year, with men three times more likely to kill themselves than women.
Lambeth Council and its partners have pledged that one suicide is one too many, and to reflect the local situation the new suicide prevention strategy focuses as much on poor mental health as a potential risk factor as it does on suicide itself.
London’s Great Mental Health Day
The new strategy has been created by a Partnership Group, hosted by Lambeth Public Health, and will be launched on Friday (Jan28) as part of London’s first Great Mental Health Day – a new celebration of everything that helps mental wellbeing. Lambeth is marking Great Mental Health Day with a walk across the borough from The Health Foundry in Waterloo down to West Norwood Cemetery, visiting places and organisations that support positive wellbeing, and connect us to others and local communities. It is open to all residents, with local people invited to walk with every mile, or just join and leave sections of the route. The strategy itself will be formally launched in Ruskin Park next to the Maudsley Hospital, halfway through both the day and the walk.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Jim Dickson, Lambeth Council Joint Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “We’re launching Lambeth’s new three-year Suicide Prevention Strategy on the same day as London’s first Great Mental Health Day to help people see suicide as part of the bigger picture.
“Both these initiatives set out to tackle the stigma around talking about suicide and mental health, and about asking for the help and support we need.
“The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on mental health, and our Strategy and this Day both help to share the message that help and support are always available – from everyday things to boost our wellbeing to specialist health services.”
The Strategy’s key priorities for 2022-2023 include:
- Raise awareness of crisis and bereavement support
- Provide additional support for residents bereaved by suicide
- Deliver the Pride in Practice programme to voluntary sector organisations
- Regular suicide prevention training for Lambeth staff and key community groups
- Developing projects supporting men’s wellbeing in the borough
- Improve timely reporting of suicide, attempted suicide and self-harm highlighting prevalence among vulnerable groups.
- Promote talking about mental health and destigmatize asking for help
- Work collaboratively to improve data collection and care on self-harm.
Benefiting from support
Lucy is a visitor to The Listening Place charity where she was referred by Lambeth Talking Therapies in September last year and she had three months of support. The Listening Place provide face-to-face support for those who feel life is no longer worth living. Lucy said after she was referred to The Listening Place she went, but that she came in feeling quite apprehensive and nervous. She said: “Martyn quickly made me feel at ease and I was surprised at how comfortable I became opening up. These sessions have given me more confidence in myself and I am very thankful. It is a really great place.”
For more about Great Mental Health Day activities and events, visit Thrive LDN’s website.
You can also share your own tips, advice and experience across social media using the hashtag #GreatMentalHealth. Why not post a short online video saying:
- What you do to improve your own mental health
- What makes you feel connected to others, or
- What you do to support others in your community.