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For this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday 10 September the Portsmouth Mental Health Alliance is asking everyone to learn how to talk and listen to someone who may be at risk of suicide.

Anyone can now sign up to a free 20 min e-learning module to build skills and confidence in how to:

  • See the warning signs that someone may be thinking about taking their own life
  • Learn what to Say the right thing and that it’s OK to use the word ‘suicide’
  • Know where to Signpost a person to for appropriate help – taking them to hospital or simply sharing a weblink to the right support.

Cllr Fazackarley Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Portsmouth City Council says:

“Suicide is a tragic loss of life for all involved, and I believe suicide is preventable. Whether it’s a family member, a colleague or even a stranger we just happen to meet, if we can  learn how to look out for the signs of distress in different situations, learn what to say, how to listen, then we could be of help in a moment of need.

“I urge everyone to spend just 20 mins today doing this free online module – it really will give you the confidence to potentially help save someone’s life. And should you or a member of your family ever need help I’m sure you’d hope others know what to do, so please encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the module too.

“Being able to talk to someone who has had thoughts about taking their own life is a skill that anyone can and should learn, in the same way we’ve all learned what do if someone near us is choking or suffers a stroke.”

Suicide is the leading cause of death in men under fifty, higher than the likelihood of heart disease and cancer. Although men are three times more likely that women to die by suicide, the rate of suicide in women under 30 has increased significantly over the last 5 years.

The coronavirus pandemic has put many people under stresses the did not expect and many are already feeling the strain on their mental health. Suffering from depression increases the likelihood of someone taking their own life, although not all people who die by suicide suffer from mental illness.

Zero Suicide Alliance provides the free 20 minute e-learning module aimed at supporting anyone to build the skills and confidence to talk to someone who may be considering suicide – online e-module.

Support contacts

  • Help and support can be found online at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/mental-wellbeing/ 
  • Whatever you’re going through, call the Samaritans free anytime, from any phone on 116 123. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • If you prefer to text, support is available from SHOUT, the UK 24/7 text service for people in crisis, on 85258.

Notes to editors:

The Portsmouth Mental Health Alliance (PMHA) brings together communities and organisations across Portsmouth to improve the mental health and wellbeing, including improving the detection of the signs of trauma and mental distress to help address these as early as possible to prevent a distress turning into a crisis. Alliance members include organisations from the commercial and business sector; emergency services; health and social care; voluntary sector organisations and police and criminal justice services.

Help and support can be found online at https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/health-and-care/health/mental-wellbeing/

Free 20 minute e-learning module: https://www.relias.co.uk/hubfs/ZSA-FullTraining-10012020/story_html5.html