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Cornwall's Suicide Figures

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6:14am 12th September 2013
(Updated 6:14am 12th September 2013)

Cornwall is being urged to go on suicide watch.

Pirate FM has learnt around 60 people take their own lives in the Duchy each year.

That is one of the highest rates in the country and it is a number that is rising.

Economic hard times and isolation are being blamed.

Now family and friends are getting more help to spot the signs and cope with the aftermath.

Karen Oldham-Waring, Mental Health Promotion Co-ordinator at the Health Promotion Service, is running an event in Truro to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day: "Don't beat about the bush and go around the houses about suicide. Just say 'Are you thinking about suicide?' or ' Are you talking about suicide here?' Name it. But asking clearly and concisely really does give you that intervention opportunity.

"You might notice that they are behaving differently. Perhaps something concerning. Some people tend to tie up loose ends. But it's very important not to get stuck on aspects that we THINK people behave like, because that means we're not watching out for other signs and symptoms."

The event at Lemon Quay in Truro will focus on addressing suicide in three different areas:

PREvention: the work carried out around educating people in the benefits of wellbeing and emotional resilience.

INTERvention: the delivery of training courses such as ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) to give people a skill in providing suicide first aid to those at risk of taking their lives.

POSTvention: the services available for those bereaved by suicide or survivors of attempted suicide.

Attendees will include: counselling services, Young People Cornwall, faith forums, Pentreath, Seap, Rethink, Cornwall Rural Community Council, Suicide Liaison Service and Mind.

The event also marks the launch of a new website which has information about services for prevention, intervention and postvention for suicide all on one resource list.

Felicity Owen, Director of Public Health, explained: "Suicide represents a tragic, and possibly preventable, loss of life, and is an indicator of emotional distress. Each individual suicide is a devastating event for the person concerned, their family and friends, and their community."

The event will run from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday, with live music from local band ‘Freedom/Guilt Equation’ alongside information stands from services across the county. There will also be goodie bags to give away with useful resources.

6:14am 12th September 2013

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