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Recipients of suicide prevention fund revealed in Mental Health Awareness Week

The Department of Health and Social Care announces the 113 charities which are to receive a share of the £5.4 million fund, as well as a call for evidence to help inform both the new 10-year mental health plan and the new national suicide prevention plan.

11/05/22

Recipients of suicide prevention fund revealed in Mental Health Awareness Week

The Government has announced the charities that have received a share of £5.4 million, to support people experiencing suicidal thoughts or approaching a crisis.

The announcement follows increased demand for services, met by the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector during the pandemic.

In 2021, there were over 5,000 suicides registered in England. In both men and women, around 40% of suicides are by people in their 40s and 50s, while men aged 45 to 49 have the highest rate.

The funding, which was distributed and used earlier this year, enabled recipients to either set up new projects, or expand or sustain current services to ensure people are supported – including funding projects retrospectively.

Some of the projects funded included providing additional capacity in crisis helplines, both for those struggling with suicidal thoughts and for those who are concerned about a loved one, providing signposting to local services, support and information, refreshing campaigns to provide targeted support to specific at-risk groups, therapy sessions and supporting families who have tragically been bereaved by suicide.

The funded support has predominantly been targeted at high-risk groups who may have struggled the most during the pandemic, such as people with a pre-existing mental illness, children and young people, and those from groups considered to be at higher risk of self-harm and suicide, such as people from black communities, men and people who are economically vulnerable.

One of the recipients, Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN), has been awarded £41,599 to address the wider social determinants to reduce health inequalities for people from Caribbean and African communities, tackle taboos around suicide in black communities, raising awareness though workshops and campaigns as well as running virtual chat and support sessions for young people.

Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Officer of CAHN, said: “Suicides occurs in all communities although it is not a topic openly spoken about in ethnic communities often due to stigma, shame, cultural and religious issues. It is important that we combat the threat of increasing suicide in the black community while encouraging people to seek help at the earliest opportunity.”

“The funding will enable us increase understanding and knowledge of practical suicide prevention techniques via different platforms helping people to spot the early signs and act appropriately.”

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid also confirmed that the Government will publish a new suicide prevention plan setting out actions and commitments later this year.

To support the development of the plan, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has opened a 12-week call for evidence which is running until 7 July, to help inform both the new 10-year mental health plan and the new national suicide prevention plan. It is seeking views from the public, as well as the sector, on what can be improved within the current service, and what more can be done to prevent suicides – particularly in light of the pandemic, which has led to record levels of people seeking treatment and accessing support.

“We know many more people have been asking for help with their mental health over the last 2 years and we’re publishing a suicide prevention plan later this year to outline further support for those in need.”

Have your say on the call for evidence: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/mental-health-and-wellbeing-plan-discussion-paper-and-call-for-evidence

View the full list of organisations receiving a share of the fund: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/suicide-prevention-fund-2021-to-2022/voluntary-community-and-social-enterprise-organisations-suicide-prevention-grant-fund-awards

Find out more about CAHN who are helping the Caribbean and African community tackle suicide. Their helpline (07710 022382) is open 9am to 9pm every day for those who need someone to talk to, feeling down or struggling.

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