BRIDGEWATER Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust staff are being offered free training and resources to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

The offer is being made to 2,000 staff members, and the hope is that given the numbers of people involved, they can help to reduce the number of preventable deaths.

The trust is employing the scheme to recognise World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) today, Tuesday, which is organised by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).

Chief executive at Bridgewater, Colin Scales, said: “We want to see as many of our staff trained as possible, so they can recognise the signs that someone is at risk or in crisis.

“We also want to be raise awareness among the public and encourage people – especially men, who are at much higher risk – to talk about how they are feeling.

"We want people to engage with their empathy and compassion, so people who are at risk can recognise that suicide is devastating and permanent, while problems are temporary and can be resolved.”

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In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK.

Three-quarters of those deaths were among men (4,903 deaths) - men aged 45 to 49 years had the highest suicide rate.

Despite having a low number of deaths overall, rates among the under 25s have generally increased in recent years, particularly in 10 to 24-year-old females, where the rate has increased significantly since 2012 to its highest level with 3.3 deaths per 100,000 females in 2018.

Mr Scales added: “We are promoting free training to our staff as well as resources on suicide prevention and we would encourage others to take a look at the Zero Suicide Alliance’s suicide prevention training course to help you identify warning signs and safeguard someone who could be suicidal.”

WSPD is co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation to help raise awareness that suicide can be prevented and to provide staff with the means to identify people at risk and to make interventions.