Pirate FM News

Suicide rate in Cornwall higher than national average

mental health

Published by Emma Carton at 9:21am 12th September 2018. (Updated at 10:02am 12th September 2018)

Truro is hosting an event to help cut the number of suicides, as the rate in Cornwall is revealed to be higher than the national average.

Officials figures show that in 2017, 64 people in the Duchy died after taking their own lives.

Although that has fallen, the rate per 100,000 people is still higher than other parts of the UK.

Anyone who attends the event will have the chance to learn about suicide risk and prevention.

It will also contribute to the planning and implementation of local activities to help reduce the risk.

"Every death by suicide is one too many. In Cornwall, a number of factors contribute to the issues we face, including unstable incomes dependant on agriculture, fishing and tourism.

"One reason people take their own lives is because they don't want to talk about mental distress. Together, we as a community can make a difference, and not just take a medical treatment approach".

Dr Ellen Wilkinson, Medical Director for Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust

What topics are on the agenda?

  • Quiet connections - Social anxiety and the #WeAreEnough campaign. How individuals have forged a community through shared experiences. 
  • Fishing for positive mental health - Fishing as an escape from the day-to-day, and providing an environment in which men can talk about their personal feelings. 
  • Wave project - surf therapy and wellbeing. How young people with mental health issues have built confidence through surfing.
  • Schools and colleges- What are the correct steps to take after a suicide takes place?
  • Non-medical crises and building resilience - How can we support people feel safe, gain employment and have somewhere to live?
  • Reducing the stigma of mental ill-health - asking people 'how are you really feeling?"

The event has been organised by mental health experts and community leaders, part of an initiative called Towards Zero, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

The key speakers for the event are from State of Mind, a group of ex-rugby league players who promote positive mental health among sportsmen and women, fans and wider communities.

They work to raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing and deliver education on the subject to all levels of sport, business, education and community groups.

"Every single death by suicide is a tragedy, and for every individual whose life ends in this way there are many families, friends and community members whose own lives are impacted.

"We are pleased to start seeing a reduction in the number of deaths by suicide in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, but our aim is for no one to take their own life, so we still have work to do. We all have a role to play and if we want to protect our local population we have to act together".

Dr Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council's Wellbeing and Public Health Team

The event is being held at the Health and Wellbeing Innovation Centre from 9am on Wednesday: Read more.

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