In the UK an average 6,000 people die a year from suicide, that’s compared to around 2000 people killed on the roads. In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on average, one person a week dies by suicide, which is higher than other areas of the south west.
Deputy Director of Public Health in Cornwall, Steve Brown said: “A Mental Health Safety Plan supports and guides someone when they are experiencing thoughts of suicide to help them avoid a state of intense suicide crisis. Research tells us that it’s one of the best tools to mitigate future suicide behaviours.”
Public Health officer Hannah Clark said: “The plan is designed to be written by the person when they are feeling in a positive state of mind. It asks the person to think about and write down the warning signs that they are heading into a mental health crisis. This could be behaviours such as withdrawing from friends or family, feeling listless and tired or having trouble sleeping maybe.
“It then goes on to ask you to identify what you can do to distract yourself from those negative thought patterns, such as doing exercise or meditation. It takes you through the stages of feeling down right through to who you can contact when you are in crisis. You can then look at the plan at any stage of your feelings with a clear plan of what you should do to help yourself through that difficult time.”
This approach is already being used by other health agencies across the area. The public health team will be launching the plan on their website soon.
For anyone who needs support with their mental health you can visit Cornwall Council’s website. There are also a number of smartphone apps available such as the Stay alive app, My3 app or the Safety plan app. These can all be found by searching your app store.
Anyone who needs immediate help is urged to visit their GP.