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Message of hope given on suicide prevention day

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Monday 10 September was World Suicide Prevention Day and a message of hope has been issued online and at local GP surgeries and NHS premises to support people who may be struggling. The initiative comes from from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) who have consulted with many people affected by suicide to create the message, including coroner’s chaplain Revd Canon Chris Copsey, to create the message of hope.

It reminds people that they are not alone and encourages them to take the time to talk to someone they trust and reach out for hope. It also includes the contact details of organisations such as the Samaritans and Childline, as well as Refugee Action and Hopeline UK.

The message reads:

“We don’t want anyone else to go through the trauma of suicide. We would like to give you some hope. This is a message because we care.

“We don’t know exactly how you are feeling at this moment but please don’t feel you are somehow weak or a failure…. Give yourself some time.

“Talk to someone you can trust who will listen. By talking things over a great sense of pressure is released – it becomes possible for your problems to seem more manageable… Reach out for hope. We now have a life and a future and there is a future waiting for you. With love from me to you.”

Liz Howlett, Suicide Reduction Plan Implementation Lead with NSFT, said

“We are proud that we have been able to work with people who have be directly affected by suicide to put together our message of hope.

“We have kept the message simple and concise so that people who are approaching a crisis will be able to absorb it and take away the main points. Its aim is to show that they are not alone and those dark times will go while reminding them that there are people out there who can help.

“We hope that our message will comfort and reassure people when they are at their most vulnerable so that they feel able to take those first steps and ask for help.”

Revd Canon Chris Copsey was asked to contribute to the message after working closely with people affected by suicide through her role as Chaplain with Norfolk Coroner’s Service. She also helps to organise an annual service to remember those who have lost their lives, as well as special suicide prevention workshops.

“I was really pleased to be invited to take part in this important project,” said Revd Copsey, who also has personal experience after helping a friend who tried to take their own life. “We wanted to put together something which was punchy but that would also speak to them in a sensitive way which they could recognise and work with. Hopefully it will have an immediate impact which may give vital time for someone to consider their actions. If it saves just one life, it will be worthwhile.

“The message is something people can carry with them and look at if they are feeling alone. At one of our conferences, we heard about a man who said he wanted to take his own life but wouldn’t if just one person smiled at him that morning. That shows that a smile can make a real difference – so just imagine what this message could do.

“I am really passionate about trying to support people before an event, and would urge anyone who is worried about someone else not to be afraid to talk – talking about suicide won’t make it happen, but could actually prevent it. Speak as human to human and offer a smile, hug or a hand on the shoulder – it might make all the difference by giving someone the time they need to allow them to open up and ask for help.”

This article is courtesy of Network Norfolk