National Suicide Prevention Alliance graphic for #WSPD2020
National Suicide Prevention Alliance graphic for #WSPD2020

Trigger warning: This blog discusses self-harm and suicide.
Cllr Joshua Lindsey is Lambeth’s Health in the Built Environment Champion and a councillor in Ferndale ward. 

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues and we face stronger social distancing measures the pressure on our mental wellbeing is immense.

Despite the council rushing to provide support as the pandemic broke, in Lambeth we know that local people have suffered so much, particularly for those who have tragically lost loved ones to the virus. We also know that the virus has made risk factors for suicide worse.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, when we campaign to raise awareness about suicide and share some of the ways to help those suffering.

Tragically, the suicide rate for men in England and Wales is at it’s highest for 20 years. It is highest amongst men aged 45-49, but also tragically rising amongst females under 25.

Suicide can be a difficult thing to talk about, but a frank conversation is so important to help raise awareness. Which is why in Lambeth we been provided our staff with free training from the charity Papyrus prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, when face to face meetings could still be held. Today we’re encouraging those who need support to visit their online resources.

For local people there is support available.

Coronavirus means that we’re more isolated from one another, this makes it harder to talk, and spot the signs that someone you know is suffering. If you’d like coronavirus specific advice, Samaritans have pages here.

If you live locally and feel like you need support, SLAM crisis line offers urgent mental health advice. They’re available on: 0800 731 2864.

The Samaritans provide urgent mental health support over the telephone and email for anyone:

The Listening Place also partners with Lambeth and provides support for anyone contemplating suicide: Opening hours: 9am to 9pm * Telephone: 0203 906 7676

Support for LGBTQ+ residents is available. The Switchboard charity have an LGBT+ line where you can have a confidential, understanding conversation: call 0300 330 0630.

Further support is available through our council website.

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