Conference will help those at risk of suicide

By Ian Dipple Tuesday 04 December 2012 Updated: 05/12 13:14

AN EVENT to highlight support available to people who may be having thoughts about taking their own life is being planned in Worcestershire.

The Samaritans has been invited to put on a conference on the subject of suicide, possibly at County Hall, to raise awareness of and signpost people suffering with mental health issues to organisations which can help as well as gain a greater understanding of why people choose to end their own life.

It is planned the event will take place late January or early February.

It is the brainchild of Redditch county councillor David Thain who won support for the idea at a recent full council meeting.

The Redditch North representative said the idea was prompted by the recent World Suicide Prevention Day held by the World Health Organisation and a report released by the Coalition Government into tackling suicide in the UK.

About 50 people on average commit suicide every year in Worcestershire with men outnumbering women by a ratio of three to one and most taking place in the home.

Coun Thain said: "The county council will host this but it is important the Samaritans take the lead. It is a hugely sensitive subject and we hope to achieve a greater recognition of the potential causes of suicide but also something apparent to me is the grief from suicide is one of the toughest things for families to deal with.

"If someone dies for medical reasons or natural causes then you can learn to deal with it as that's life and nature just taking its course, but with suicide you are left wondering what if I had done that or this."

As part of the Government's health reforms the county council will be taking on responsibility for commissioning mental health services and the Health and Wellbeing Board has been asked to look specifically at suicide as an issue, which it will do early next year.

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