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Today’s World Suicide Prevention Day 2020 marked by release of updated Stay Alive app

Today, Thursday 10 September, is the International Association for Suicide Prevention’s (IASP) World Suicide Prevention Day.

This year the Stay Alive app has been updated with changes to services in Sefton following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sefton residents are being encouraged to download, use and share the Stay Alive app which is available free on iOS and Android devices.

The Stay Alive app, which was developed by charity Grassroots, is a pocket-sized suicide prevention resource that gives people the tools to start a conversation about mental health. The app is designed to help both those who are having suicidal thoughts and those who are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide.

World Suicide Prevention Day marks the start of the Sefton In Mind campaign, aimed at improving mental health of all residents. Look out for the hashtag #SeftonInMind to find information about local support services over the next 30 days of the campaign.

It is also five years since the launch of the ‘NO MORE Suicide’ strategy across Cheshire & Merseyside. During that time, there have been many successes and steps forward in the work to ensure all can remain safe from suicide.

The NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board brings together representatives from sectors including emergency services, suicide prevention charities, mental health trusts, HM prisons, public health and more. Through the Board’s effective collaborative working, Cheshire & Merseyside has rolled out extensive measures to prevent suicide, ensure safer care within health and care services and provide support after suicide.

Suicide prevention community training has been delivered to 3,662 people from 2017-2019. The training was delivered to a targeted work force of non-mental health specialists who have regular contact with potentially vulnerable people such as taxi drivers and barbers and welfare workers.

Support after suicide service, Amparo, are now commissioned to deliver their liaison service to those who have been bereaved by suicide in all nine local authorities across Cheshire & Merseyside. In five years, Amparo have provided immediate and practical information and support to 4,800 people who have been bereaved by or exposed to suicide.

Street triage teams have been adopted across Cheshire & Merseyside through partnerships between Merseyside Police, Cheshire Police, British Transport Police, North West Ambulance service and local NHS providers. The teams are staffed by both emergency and mental health professionals who can advise, coordinate, and assess the response needed for mental health related emergency and crisis incidents.

These are just some examples of the work that has been carried out and is ongoing across Cheshire & Merseyside. It is this work and more which meant that in July 2020 Cheshire & Merseyside had confirmation that they had received the Suicide Safer Communities Award from Living Works in Canada – becoming the first sub-region in the UK to receive the award.

Margaret Jones, Sefton’s Director of Public Health said: “We are delighted to have received the Suicide Safer Community Award from Living Works, which symbolises the fantastic collaborative work that has been ongoing over the last five years in Cheshire & Merseyside.

“It is an even greater accolade to be the first sub-region to receive the award. This is evidence of the huge amount of hard work that goes into working together as system partners to deliver programmes over a larger footprint area.

“There is of course more to be done and we will continue to work towards our ambition of Cheshire & Merseyside being a zero-suicide area.”

Jane Lunt, interim chief nurse, NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport & Formby CCGs said: “Since its introduction we have been strong advocates of the NO MORE Suicide strategy and continue to support and interact with the services and organisations that ensure the care and safety of people around the issues of suicide and suicide prevention. The updated Stay Alive app is a welcome addition to our resources with a wealth of useful information to support anyone who may have suicidal thoughts and to keep them safe.”

“The experiences and challenges of the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic will have affected people in many different ways so it’s important that we use this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day to reinforce the message that there is support and advice for everyone.”

In addition to the Stay Alive app, a new 24/7 helpline – 0151 296 7200 – has been launched across Cheshire & Merseyside to help people struggling with their mental health.

People can contact:

Cheshire Wirral Partnership – Call 0800 145 6485 (For Adults and Children & Young People)

Mersey Care Mental Health Trust – Call 0151 296 7200 (Adults)

Alder Hey Crisis Care Team – Call 0151 293 3577 (For Children & Young People in Liverpool & Sefton)

North West Boroughs Healthcare Trust – Call 0800 051 1508 if you live in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington (For adults, children and young people)

Support is available from:

Samaritans – A safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you Call 116 123

Papyrus – For Children and Young people under 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned that a young
Call 0800 068 41 41

Amparo – Support for anyone affected by a suicide
Call 0300 088 9255