This Friday, (September 10) marked World Suicide Prevention Day and the start of Greater Manchester’s Month of Hope, which runs until World Mental Health Day on 10 October.
The campaign, now in its third year, is all about raising awareness of suicide by encouraging local people to have open conversations and is part of the Shining a Light on Suicide project, funded by the Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership.
It aims to bring the issue of suicide out of the dark and break the stigma that surrounds it, following research showing that talking honestly about suicide helps save lives and people are encouraged to play a role in preventing suicide, whilst inspiring hope across the city region.
This year, residents are being encouraged to help spread hope across the city region by sharing what gives them hope, with friends, family, colleagues and on social media using the hashtag #MonthofHope.
Judd Skelton, Chair of Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention Programme Board said: “The Month of Hope is about spreading hope across our city-region. Last year, more than 200 people took their lives in Greater Manchester and that’s why this month and the Shining a Light on Suicide Campaign are so important.
“You don’t have to be a healthcare professional to help someone who is feeling suicidal – you just need to ask and listen. I would encourage everyone to take part in the Learn to Save a Life training.
“It only takes 20 minutes and it will help you feel more confident to ask someone if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts.”
- Speak Their Name, The Greater Manchester Suicide Memorial Quilt – 10th September- 22nd September
The Speak Their Name Greater Manchester Suicide Memorial Quilt, made in memory of some of those who have died by suicide in the city region, will be displayed at the Lowry Theatre Gallery. The quilt is made of 54 unique squares, each one lovingly created by someone bereaved by suicide, supported by Rebecca Jackson, a fibre artist bereaved herself by suicide.
- Words of Hope event- 23rd September
Words of Hope is an online poetry reading event with contributions from Greater Manchester residents, surrounding the theme of hope. The event will be available to watch on the GM Words of Hope Facebook page.
Suicide affects us all. Encourage someone to talk before suicide seems their only option. Together we can help prevent suicide. Find out how at www.shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk
If you’re bereaved by suicide, you do not need to deal with your grief alone. Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can find the right support for you. Visit: www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk
Take the free 20-minute training to learn how to save a life: www.bit.ly/savealife20