Trust to launch month-long suicide awareness and prevention campaign

September 5, 2019

Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust will mark World Suicide Prevention Day (10 Sep) by launching a month-long suicide awareness and prevention campaign.

Scheduled to run until World Mental Health Day (10 Oct), it will encourage patients, staff and the public to download Stay Alive, an innovative self-help suicide prevention app.

Free from the App Store, easy to use and compatible with Apple and Android phones, the app is aimed at people considering suicide or concerned about others who may be thinking of taking their own lives.

Created by Grassroots Suicide Prevention, the app includes rapid access to EPUT’s crisis service telephone numbers; advice about staying safe; information about helping people in need; and details about suicide myths.

Andy Brogan, Executive Chief Operating Officer, said: “Although there are lots of myths and stigma about suicide and mental health, if we can use this app to raise awareness and get people talking about it more, I think we can open the door to being able to save lives.

“This is incredibly important because one death by suicide is one too many. Suicide prevention is about our families, friends, neighbours, colleagues and acquaintances. It is about saving lives and keeping people safe and well – and it affects us all.”

The Trust’s campaign is also encouraging people to complete the Zero Suicide Alliance’s 20-minute online training package to prevent suicide, which claimed 194 lives in Essex in 2018.

The Trust’s campaign is using the #intheirshoes on social media with an aim of:

• Encouraging people to consider those whose lives have been lost to, or affected by, suicide;

• Dispelling some of the beliefs and misconceptions often held by people considering suicide;

• Encouraging people to talk more openly about mental health and suicide;

• Highlighting the efforts of staff at the Trust and their work in partnership with the emergency services to help people with mental health needs.

People can join the discussion and follow the campaign with #intheirshoes on the Trust’s Facebook and Twitter channels via @EPUTNHS

Suicide remains among the top 20 leading causes of death around the world and is responsible for more than 800,000 deaths – equivalent to one every 40 seconds.