It is World Suicide Prevention Day on Friday September 10 and this marks the start of Greater Manchester’s “Month of Hope” which runs until World Mental Health Day on October 10.
To mark the Month of Hope, Bolton Council is launching a 12 month mental wellbeing and suicide prevention training programme for staff and volunteers across the health, social care and voluntary sector organisations in Bolton. This will enable individuals to ‘become mental health aware’ or ‘become a mental health first aid champion’ which equips individuals to identify those in need of help and support and to signpost accordingly.
In addition, there are plans to work with local businesses to co-design a package of mental health and wellbeing support. Businesses have undoubtedly faced many challenges and pressures during the pandemic and the initiative aims to offer early support to help prevent mental health problems in both business owners and their staff.
Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Cllr Susan Baines, said: “Living though the pandemic these past 18 months has been challenging and it has had a significant impact on some people’s mental health. It is now more important than ever to look after yourself and others.
“I urge anyone who is struggling with their mental health to talk to someone. I understand that it is not always easy to speak with a close family member or friend, but please contact any of the services on offer. They are confidential and will be able to offer advice, support and coping mechanisms to help improve mental wellbeing.
“Like our physical health, which can change, so too can our mental health and this is normal. We might all need help and support at some time, and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.”
Organisations who can help:
Single Point Of Access (SPOA) – If you need help with anxiety or depression then please contact SPOA on 01204 483101 or via their online portal – https://www.iaptportal.co.uk/bolt.html.
Silverwellbeing Therapy Service - Call on 01204 917745 or email@example.com.
Samaritans are here for you to listen in confidence and without judgement 24 hours a day for free. Contact them on 116 123 (Freephone) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shining a Light on Suicide - Some useful information, if you’re having suicidal thoughts or worried about someone else http://www.shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk/
Greater Manchester Bereavement Service - Call them on 0161 983 0902 between Mon-Fri 9am-5pm & Wed 9am-8pm or visit https://greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk/
Kooth - Online counselling for children and young people in Bolton 11- 25 years old - www.kooth.com
Bolton’s Mental Health Microsite for Children and Young People - Bekindtomymind was co-produced by young people in Bolton and provides a directory of local services available to support young people’s mental health. To find out more and to watch the campaign video go to www.bekindtomymind.co.uk
The Month of Hope is delivered as part of the Shining a Light on Suicide Campaign, which aims to bring the issue of suicide out of the dark and break the stigma that surrounds it, following research showing that talking honestly about suicide helps save lives.
This year, residents are being encouraged to help spread hope across the city-region by sharing what gives them hope, with friends, family, colleagues and on social media using the hashtag #MonthofHope