NHS Richmond CCG and Richmond Council joined up with other organisations to promote World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September 2019).

Every year, organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. Last year, in the UK, over 6,900 people died of suicide, a rise of nearly 12% on the previous year.

People attempt suicide for a wide range of reasons and can include a major life change, a loss or bereavement or long-term factors like abuse or illness.

Suicide can be preventable, and anyone can help by acting on the signs that they may see in others.

As part of the awareness-raising, the CCG and Council are supporting a London-wide campaign to encourage 100,000 people to complete the Zero Suicide Alliance free online training. The training takes around 20 minutes to complete and supports people to identify warning signs and to feel comfortable having conversations about suicide.

Dr Graham Lewis, local GP and Chair, NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

‘As a clinical commissioning group, we wholeheartedly support the aspirations of this awareness campaign – to save lives from suicide.

‘Too often people struggle to know what to say in response to someone who is in crisis, this free online training will help to address that and equip people with knowing what to say.

‘We are encouraging all GP practices in Richmond to participate in this campaign and for staff to take the training.’

Cllr Piers Allen, Chair of the Adult Social Services, Health & Housing Committee and the Richmond Health & Wellbeing Board added:

‘Any life lost to suicide is an unbearable tragedy. I am acutely and personally aware of the devastating effect suicide can have on those left behind.

‘Eleven Londoners a week lose their life to suicide. In Richmond we are committed to raising awareness of suicide and encouraging people to talk openly about their feelings; this is often the first step to staying safe.

‘But suicide prevention is something we can all play a part in. Those who feel isolated can be at higher risk of feeling suicidal. This free online training can help.

‘We are going to encourage our staff at Richmond Council to take the training, and I would like to ask other individuals and organisations to do the same.’

For more information, or to do the training, go to: www.thriveldn.co.uk/zerosuicideldn