Since 2011, Grassroots Suicide Prevention has held an event in Brighton & Hove each year to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. WSPD is a world-wide event led by the International Association of Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation where people around the globe join together with the common goal of preventing suicide. Efforts to prevent suicide have been celebrated on September 10th each year since 2003.
This year, the theme was ‘Take a minute, change a life’. We decided to engage the public through quick, fun minute challenges such as table tennis and circus skills, Grassroots got people talking about suicide prevention and helped them understand what they can do to help. This included various calls to action for the public, including:
The Grassroots team held an open event at the Unitarian Church, Brighton on the afternoon of Friday 8 September with support from local partners, including, Mankind, Pavilions, Samaritans, Brighton & Hove Alibion, and Pharmacie Coffee. The afternoon involved fun one-minute challenges to engage the public hosted by Brighton Table Tennis Club, a chance to take a framed selfie photo in support of suicide prevention, and an opportunity to learn how to help change a life through open talk about suicide.
Grassroots also had a presence at Brighton Station during the week, working with local street artist Madderdoit? to paint a mural on a prominent electricity box at the rear of the Station promoting the ‘StayAlive’ app, and raising awareness with commuters through an information stall.
Funding for this awareness raising work and training came through a grant from Brighton & Hove City Council's Public Health team.
Grassroots Chief Executive Stella Comber said:
“Suicide rates in Brighton and Hove are among the highest in the UK and today is an opportunity for us to highlight this urgent issue. Each suicide is an individual tragedy and has a devastating impact on family, colleagues, friends and the wider community. Grassroots believe that many suicides can be prevented. Our aim is to build the confidence of the public to ensure that they are alert to the risk of suicide and have the confidence to ask direct questions and support a person at risk. We want to send this message out into the heart of the community so that people feel empowered to help others and to start conversations that quite literally save lives. You don’t have to be an expert - in the time it takes you to order a coffee it really could be possible to change the course of another person’s life. World Suicide Prevention Day is a unique opportunity for members of the public to come down to the Unitarian Church and find out more about how we can work together to make Brighton and Hove a suicide safer community.”
The theme for this year was "Connect, Communicate & Care". Our events included:
The venue and catering was provided by The Brighthelm Centre. The theme this year was "Suicide Prevention: One World Connected."
This event took place at BHASVIC Sixth Form College, Hove and was attended by 140 people. Highlights included:
We also hosted a stall at the Kissing Statue plus a free, outdoor photographic exhibition featuring beautiful portraits with a clear stigma reduction message in Jubilee Square, outside Brighton Library.
Held at The Latest Music Bar in Brighton, 125 people gathered on 10 September 2012 to mark this day. The event included:
Our first World Suicide Prevention Day event was held upstairs at The Rock Inn, Brighton and was attended by about 40 people. Events included:
Video from this event can be found here: youtube.com/watch?v=l1OX4D9VpS8
Grassroots are incredibly proud of our 20 new ambassadors who took an hour out of their day to take suicideTALK on 25 October 2017.
The 20 members of the public are now equipped with the skills and confidence to ask about suicide. Talking about suicide openly and honestly lets other people know it's ok to ask for help, and that they can talk to you. It's also crucial in helping to de-stigmatise using the word "suicide" in conversations. If more people are asking for help with their thoughts of suicide then it could mean more suicides are prevented.
The first suicideTALK delivered in Brighton & Hove was been funded by donations on World Suicide Prevention Day 2017, so we would like to thank the public in Brighton for helping to make this course happen.
On Friday 8 September Grassroots Suicide Prevention will be relaunching their suicide prevention App #StayAlive.
Stay Alive is the ideal tool to help people who are suffering with thoughts of suicide to be reminded of their own reasons for living and access support in times of crisis. It’s also a great resource for carers supporting people with thoughts of suicide.
We currently have 30,000 downloads and are looking to significantly add to this during World Suicide Prevention Day, on 10 September 2017.Your support could help save a life.
How? By downloading this free, award-winning app you will help highlight the importance of suicide prevention.
Take a minute, change a life.
"Suicide is everyone's business; it devastates so many lives no matter who you are, where you work or where you live. We want to use every method available to us to make Sussex, and beyond, a place where people thinking about suicide are supported and helped in their workplace and their community."