“There isn’t enough crisis support” - charity’s bid to reduce suicide

(from left) Katy Hall, clinical service manager for Norfolk and Waveney Mind, Steve Freeman, Anchor

(from left) Katy Hall, clinical service manager for Norfolk and Waveney Mind, Steve Freeman, Anchor Project co-ordinator, and Sonja Chilvers, head of recovery for Norfolk and Waveney Mind. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Suicide prevention awareness and mental health education is to get a boost in parts of Norfolk.

From the end of this year, Norfolk and Waveney Mind will promote mental health education and carry our suicide prevention work in north Norfolk and farming communities after the charity discovered there was a need in these areas.

At the same time, the charity will provide an intensive support worker for the same group of people who will provide six weeks of practical support for families and loved ones of people who die from suicide.

These new projects come after the successful first year of the Anchor Project support group, set up by Norfolk and Waveney Mind, to help people aged 18 or over impacted by suicide or a sudden death.

Sonja Chilvers, head of recovery at Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said: "The statistics of people taking their lives in Norfolk are really high.

"There isn't enough in Norfolk around suicide prevention and mental health education.

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"This new service will provide support for people with their mental health when they are in crisis. There isn't enough crisis support."

Since 2009 and 2018, there have been 829 deaths by suicide in Norfolk, according the Office of National Statistics.

Mrs Chilvers added there was hope that through future collaborations with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk County Council, suicide prevention work across would improve.

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The 2019/20 work, which includes the Anchor Project, will be funded by the councils public health department and North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group.

Norfolk and Waveney Mind will continue to fund the same projects in 2020/21 and wants to do more work with young people as well as run projects in other areas.

Speaking about the Anchor Project, co-ordinator Steve Freeman said: "It provides an invaluable space for people to talk without being judged."

Katy Hall, clinical service manager for Norfolk and Waveney Mind, said people who have lost a loved one to suicide often felt isolated which could lead to mental health problems.

To find out more call Mr Freeman on 01603 432457.

If you need help call the Samaritans 24/7 hotline on 116123.

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