World Suicide Prevention Day: Take a Minute to Change a Life
In the run-up to World Suicide Prevention Day, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott is encouraging all of us to Take a Minute to Change a Life.
Mr Scott, who has made mental health a guiding principle of his Safer in Kent Plan, said:
‘Increasingly, people are becoming more and more comfortable in talking about their own mental health issues and in accessing support but unfortunately there are still those in our own communities who reach crisis point and who go on to take their own life.’
Each year, Kent Police’s Force Control Room receives 6,000 calls about someone being at risk of taking their own life. July 2017 saw the number of these types of calls reach a three-year high for a single month – 747.
Mr Scott said:
‘The fact that Kent Police received, on average, 24 calls every day in July because someone was believed to be at risk of suicide is concerning and more needs to be done by all. I want people to know about the various types of support which is available for vulnerable people, because the earlier people access support the more chance there is that vulnerable person gets the help most appropriate to their needs.
‘I’ve awarded more than £100,000 to new and innovative mental health projects here in Kent including those providing early intervention, counselling and crisis support or which offer vulnerable people a place of safety in their community. This included two new well-being cafes which provide out-of-hours support for people who perhaps just need to talk to someone. People suffering mental ill health need the right care from the right person and talking can be the first step towards recovery.’
Mr Scott, who is also the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners’ deputy lead on mental health issues, added:
‘We all have a responsibility to look out for one another and especially the most vulnerable in our society. Sunday 10 September is World Suicide Prevention Day, so if you know someone who might be isolated or lonely, ask yourself what you can do to reach out and help them.
‘Sometimes, just a minute is all it takes to change a life.’