Posted: Friday 8th September 2017
World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on 10 September 2017 and Hertfordshire County Council is supporting the day. The theme this year is ‘Take a minute, change a life’.
Every year, more than 800,000 people worldwide take their own life and up to 25 times as many make a suicide attempt. A recent study commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation revealed that nearly two in three people in Britain have faced mental health issues. Offering a listening ear can make all the difference.
Hertfordshire resident Robert Stringer tragically lost his son Hector when he took his own life at the age of 18. Hector had everything ahead of him; he was in a band, was surrounded by lots of friends and had a very supportive family.
Robert said: “Young people’s mental health is, sadly, still a taboo subject. I’m very open about what happened to our son Hector, so I find people open up to me. And it’s amazing just how many families who have a child experiencing mental health problems still try to pretend that nothing is wrong.”
He added that it is really important to recognise the warning signs of mental distress among young people and to reach out to them before it is too late.
“They get to a point where they feel that everyone would be better off without them. It is absolutely vital that we give young people the support they need so that they don’t reach this one moment where they make the wrong decision.”
Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, said: “World Suicide Prevention Day raises awareness of the devastating impact suicide has on families, friends and communities.
“Hertfordshire has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country with a very strong partnership approach; we want to go further and make our County safer for everyone. No one should ever feel that taking their life is their only option.
“Everyone has the chance to help, reach out to someone, a complete stranger, family member or close friend. “Are you Ok?” could be enough to change the course of someone’s life.”
To mark the day, there will be events taking place across the county, including a charity bike ride in Stevenage .
If you or someone you know needs help or you want to find out more about available help, please visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/healthinherts for more information.
Alternatively visit www.samaritans.org.uk or call 116 123.