This was followed by a candlelight vigil of remembrance, organised by Start in Salford and held outside the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays, to remember those we have lost in Greater Manchester and demonstrate to those that are grieving the loss of loved ones to suicide that our community is here for them with this mass demonstration of support.
As well Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, joined MPs, charity leaders and celebrities in signing a letter to editors calling on the media to look at how suicide is reported. In it, media outlets were asked to help reduce suicide by setting high standards and ‘informing without sensationalising’ and ‘adding to our greater understanding rather than contributing further to the miasma of myth’.
Both the Mayor, and our Chief Officer , Jon Rouse, spoke at the close of the suicide prevention summit, which was led by the Partnership and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
Jon Rouse said: “Sadly too many people lose their lives to suicide – when somebody takes their own life, it is devastating on an individual level, for those bereaved and local communities.
“We know that we have to work harder together across all our public services, charities and local employers to better support people at risk as well as creating a culture where it’s seen as ok to speak up and ask for help.
“Our priorities across health and care in Greater Manchester are to work towards reducing loneliness; supporting people with addictions; improving inpatient mental health care; preventing self-harm; supporting women during pregnancy and after birth; working with employers where individuals are subject to high stress; tailoring support given to young men; working with the criminal justice system and helping children and young people avoid crisis.
“The summit and vigil on World Suicide Prevention Day demonstrate our determination to do more – and with strong representation across Greater Manchester, a clear commitment to further improve and extend existing support and provision across our ten local areas.”
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “In Greater Manchester we are committed to making sure people are able to talk and can access services at the right time. We all have a part to play, whether this is workplaces offering the right support to staff or making sure our veterans can access the help they need.
“We want to reduce social isolation and also end the stigma around mental health and suicide for the good of everyone in the city-region. I co-signed a letter calling on our media to do their bit, they have the power to educate and inform but need to take their responsibilities seriously.”
Work is taking place in Greater Manchester to enhance the skills of the wider workforce to help betters assess and support those who may be at risk of suicide. This will continue through expanding our training programmes and ensuring that organisations across Greater Manchester are confident in recognising people who may be at risk of suicide and how to respond.