New funding to help improve mental health and suicide prevention awareness

Published on: Friday, 2nd October 2020

World Mental Health Day is on Saturday 10th October and £200,000 of funding from NHS England will help improve Derbyshire’s mental health and reduce suicide rates.

Derbyshire County Council, on behalf of Joined Up Care Derbyshire, successfully applied for the funding which aims to help reduce the number of suicides across Derbyshire and Derby City. 

Amateur sports clubs, boxing clubs and specific workplaces will be encouraged to become mental health support networks thanks to the new Suicide Prevention Trailblazer funding.

In addition, a network of peer support groups for men are to be established across the county.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart said: “This funding has only been awarded to a few select areas within England and we’re pleased to have been successful in securing it.

“The effects of self-harm and suicide can be devastating. Many people - friends, family, professionals, colleagues and wider society - will feel the impact.

“That’s why it is so important to help tackle the causes, offer support and raise awareness.”

Suicide rates in Derbyshire remain similar to the national average. However after three years of declining rates, rates for 2019 have increased.

The £200,000 funding includes support for a project aimed at raising mental health awareness within local organisations to help reduce self-harm and prevent suicides.

The 18 month project, led by Erewash Voluntary Action, will target groups that work with children, young people and young men to middle aged-men.

Work will focus on local organisations who have regular contact with the target audience including workplaces, independent gyms and boxing clubs.

Mental health awareness and suicide prevention training and resources will be offered to staff, managers and volunteers alongside support and advice.

Stella Scott, CEO of Erewash Voluntary Action, said “We will focus our work on enabling groups to help themselves by providing access to relevant training and support organisations to develop a Mental Health Policy.”

To sign your organisation up to this fully funded educational support package, email mentalhealth @ erewashcvs.org.uk

Football club work
In partnership with Derbyshire Football Association, amateur football clubs will also be engaged and supported.

Ricky Stevenson, CEO of the Derbyshire FA, said: "We’re delighted to be able to support this project and partnership as a confirmed mental health support network.  Mental health problems are becoming increasingly common in the modern world, especially in sport, so I think it’s vital that people involved with football across Derbyshire can access support, advice, or just someone to talk to when they need it.

“As highlighted by The FA’s ‘Heads Up’ campaign, suicide is now the most likely cause of death for men under the age of 45, and with these shocking statistics people need to know that they don’t have to suffer in silence – if we can do anything to help this cause then we absolutely must.

“We hope that this project and the new funding can move to turn these statistics around, and we want to play our part in making that happen."

Support for men
Local mental health organisation Mentell will be offering support for men aged 18 and over.  In addition to an online virtual support offer, groups will be set up in each district to let men to talk in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space.

Chair of Mentell, Andrew Walker, said: “There has never been a more testing time in living memory for our community’s mental health. Men represent one of the most vulnerable groups within our society for mental health fallout - you only need to google male suicide rates to evidence this fact.

“The impact of lockdown will put extra financial pressures on many families throughout Derbyshire over the coming months and years.

“Men are going to need as much support as possible to move through the mental and emotional stress, and we want to be part of the solution.

"We hope this project will go some way to breaking down the stigma around men opening up and talking about sensitive thoughts and feelings.”

For more information and to sign up go to www.mentell.org.uk

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