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Special service in Truro to tackle stigma of suicide
12:00pm Sunday 8th September 2013 in News
A special event will be held next week in Truro to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
Services which help people at risk of suicide across Cornwall will be highlighting how "stigma is still a major barrier to their work".
The event will be held from 10am - 4pm at Lemon Quay on Tuesday, September 10.
Around 60 people living in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly die each year by suicide, with many more living with their own thoughts of suicide, or concerned that someone close to them is at risk, or suffering bereavement by suicide.
The rate for residents of Cornwall and Isles of Scilly is consistently higher than the national average.
Suicide rates have been falling at a local and national level but have recently started to rise slightly. The current economic climate is likely to be having an impact as unemployment and debt can be risk factors for suicide.
Felicity Owen, director of Public Health, said: "‘Suicide represents a tragic, and possibly preventable, loss of life, and is an indicator of emotional distress.
Each individual suicide is a devastating event for the person concerned, their family and friends, and their community."
The event will run from 10am to 4pm, with live music from local band ‘Freedom/Guilt Equation’ alongside information stands from services across the county. There will also be goodie bags to give away with useful resources.
Karen Oldham-Waring, from the Health Promotion Service, added: "This day is for everyone. We believe that an event like this will help to work towards reducing the stigma around suicide and mental ill-health. We hope we will encourage people to talk about how they feel rather than risk harming themselves."
The event will focus on addressing suicide in three different areas:
• Prevention – the work carried out around educating people in the benefits of wellbeing and emotional resilience.
• Intervention – the delivery of training courses such as ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) to give people a skill in providing suicide first aid to those at risk of taking their lives.
• Postvention – the services available for those bereaved by suicide or survivors of attempted suicide.
Attendees will include: counselling services, Young People Cornwall, faith forums, Pentreath, Seap, Rethink, Cornwall Rural Community Council, Suicide Liaison Service and Mind.
The event also marks the launch of a new website, www.suicidesafercornwall.org, which has information about services for prevention, intervention and postvention for suicide all on one resource list.
There is also information about the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) programme, which provides training for people to develop the skills and confidence to respond appropriately when someone is at risk of suicide.
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