The Duke of Cambridge has thrown his support behind a new suicide prevention strategy launched in Suffolk on 6 October.
Suffolk Lives Matter is a joint endeavour from organisations across Suffolk County which aims to reduce the number of suicides each year. Current figures show that a total of 62 people commit suicide in Suffolk annually.
Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble highlighted the significance of these figures in a speech, saying ‘According to Samaritans data, suicide affects 10 in every 100,000 people in the UK, it is one of the main causes of death among men aged 15-49 in Suffolk and three quarters of all deaths by suicide are by men.’
He continued, ‘The impact of suicide is profound. From the tragic human cost associated with the 60 deaths by suicide in Suffolk every year – and countless others affected, from families and friends, to work colleagues to name but a few – to the economic cost associated with the years lost over the course of a lifetime, you can see that the effects are profound…Today, we have set ourselves the challenge to reduce suicide in Suffolk and do all we can to support those who need help.’
The Suffolk Lives Matter strategy will see a range of professionals from local councils, police, mental health services, the charity and voluntary sector and HealthWatch Suffolk take on a crucial role.
In a statement read by Mr Noble at the launch event, Prince William said:
‘You are all here today at Suffolk Lives Matter to help reduce the number of tragic deaths by suicide in this county and to tackle the stigma so sadly associated with this issue. You may know that I, along with my wife, Catherine and brother, Harry have recently launched a campaign – Heads Together – to help change the conversation around mental health. Through our work we have seen time and again people who are afraid to admit that they are struggling, and to seek the right help when they need it. As all of you here today will have seen, this can destroy families and end lives.’
More information on Suffolk Lives Matter can be viewed on the Healthy Suffolk website here: http://www.healthysuffolk.org.uk/projects/suffolk-lives-matter/