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Police and partner agencies host first online ‘suicide awareness surgery’ on World Suicide Prevention Day

Cumbria Constabulary have teamed up with local suicide prevention charities and partner agencies to host the first suicide awareness and prevention social media surgery.

The surgery, which will take place 7pm – 9pm on Thursday 10 September, will coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day. The panel hosting the event will consist of representatives from the Samaritans, Every Life Matters, Cumbria County Council, NHS and Cumbria Constabulary.

The aim of the surgery is to give the public the chance to ask any questions they have surrounding mental health and suicide. Practitioners will be available to advise people on the services available in Cumbria that can help anyone struggling to cope with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide.

The surgery will be held on the Cumbria Police Facebook page and the public will have the option to send a private message to the panel, with their question or concern.

Chris Woods, Every Life Matters, said: “Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. We can all learn to recognise when someone’s mental health is at risk, or having thoughts of suicide, and we can all play a part in offering support. If you are worried about someone, this surgery is an opportunity to get some guidance about what you can do, and information about what help and support might be available locally and nationally.”

Superintendent Carl Patrick, Cumbria Constabulary, said: “These are challenging times and it is understandable that some people will be feeling worried or anxious.

“We have been working with partners from the Cumbria Suicide Prevention leadership group to help reduce the incidents of suicides and self-harm across the county. We are doing this by increasing awareness, promoting wellbeing for everyone and reducing the stigma associated with self-harm and suicide.

“We aim to do everything possible to stop people losing friends and relatives to suicide.

“This latest joint initiative provides an opportunity for partner agencies to provide information to the public, and for people who need help or are concerned about someone they know to make contact privately with people who can provide advice and support.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall said: “Suicide is never the answer and no one should ever feel like this is the only option. I urge anyone struggling to cope with mental health issues, that may feel alone and have thoughts of suicide to speak to friends, family, your GP or the Samaritans.

“Every life is important, although when people lose hope and start to suffer in silence, we need them to know that help is out there.

“It’s important to raise awareness of help that is out there and vents such as this suicide prevention surgery, advising people on the services available in Cumbria can only be a good thing.

“Please also visit our Cumbria Together website, an online directory of all local support services that can help.

“If you feel that you or someone you know is in immediate danger of completing suicide, please call 999.”

For more information, please visit the surgery event page here.

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