New approach to suicide prevention

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 June 2015




LEADING organisations in North Somerset have joined forces to try to reduce the number of people who take their own lives.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 and 49, outnumbering deaths from road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease.

Statistics show the suicide rate in North Somerset is higher than the national average.

The suicide rate in North Somerset was 10.9 per 100,000, which is significantly higher than the England rate of 7.9 per 100,000 in 2012, with 56 people taking their life between 2011 and 2013.

In England, one person dies every two hours as a result of suicide and the Samaritans say lives could be saved if the stigma surrounding poor mental health could be lifted.

North Somerset Council has joined forces with the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Samaritans, 1in4, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and people affected by suicide to set up the North Somerset Zero Suicide Collaborative.

The aim is to reduce suicide to as close to zero as possible through joint working.

Chairman of the collaborative Dr Michael Jenkins said: “As far as the collaborative is concerned, suicide is preventable and one suicide is one too many.

“When someone takes their own life, the effect on their families and friends is devastating.

“Our aim to reduce suicide will not be easy, but the collaborative has been inspired by the experience of others who have come near to achieving this apparently impossible goal.”

The collaborative is setting up a support group for people bereaved by suicide and is raising awareness about the services available to those in need of support.

Anyone is interested in being involved in this group, or who would like to know about the work of the collaborative, can contact Helen Yeo on

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