From the sixth to the 12 December, organisations, people and communities across Essex are lighting up buildings and landmarks green, the colour of world suicide prevention week, as part of the ‘Creating hope through light’ event.
The ‘Creating hope through light’ week-long event, hopes to raise awareness of suicide prevention and challenge Essex residents to take the suicide prevention training, which can be accessed on letstalkaboutsuicideessex.co.uk/
It’s a joint initiative from Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership and Thurrock and Brentwood Mind and is part of their #LetsTalkAboutSuicideEssex campaign. It’s aimed at reducing the stigma around talking about suicide and encourages people to take the free online suicide prevention training, as well as highlight the other mental health resources available in mid and south Essex.
The suicide prevention training focuses on three key elements See, Say, Signpost. See the problem, Say the words, Signpost to support and it gives people the knowledge and the confidence to talk to someone who might be at risk of or thinking about suicide.
Jane Itangata, Deputy Director of Mental Health and Inequalities, Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership said: ‘We want people from across mid and south Essex to challenge their friends, family, work colleagues, their communities and the organisations they work for to become a part of our ‘Creating hope through light’ event this December to help prevent and reduce suicides. Whether it is lighting a building green, talking to other people about preventing suicide or taking the training - you may help save someone’s life.’
So far, the following places will be turning green.
- Southend City Beach
- Basildon sign
- Essex County Cricket Ground, Chelmsford
- County Hall, Chelmsford
- Brentwood Town Hall
- Craig Tyler trust Bench, Pitsea
- Clacton Town Hall
- Clacton Pier
- Colchester Castle
- Colchester Town Hall
- Southend Civic Centre
- Porters, Southend on Sea
At some locations people will also have the opportunity to write messages to express feeling of empathy, as well as provide a moment to reflect on what has been a very unsettling 18 months.
Lynne Morgan, CEO, Thurrock & Brentwood Mind said: We are deeply humbled by the response from organisations that have already stepped up by supporting the ‘Creating Hope through light’ campaign, as well as challenging their own staff to take the training. We hope more people and organisations will join us and get as many people as possible taking the suicide prevention training’.
People can also take part by joining the social media campaign on #CreatingHopeThroughLightEssex, as well as upload personal messages and videos using the campaign resources available on https://letstalkaboutsuicideessex.co.uk/about-us/. You can also follow the campaigns on Instagram @talksuicideessex, Twitter @talksuicidesx and Facebook @letstalkaboutsuicideessex.
In Essex alone, in 2019, 111 people took their own life. Suicide is in fact the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom in men under 50. Thousands of people experience suicidal thoughts and feelings every single day and coupled with COVID-19, we are now amidst a mental health crisis.
Suicide is a preventable and avoidable death and we believe everyone should know how to talk and support someone who is having suicidal thoughts.
Could you spot the signs of someone who is struggling with their mental health? Would you know how to have the conversations with someone? Would you feel comfortable saying the word suicide to a loved one or colleague?
If you would like to find out more about how to get involved visit https://letstalkaboutsuicideessex.co.uk/about-us/ for more information.