Coventry gets behind the Baton of Hope suicide awareness campaign

Virtual baton bearers

Today Coventry comes together to recognise and raise awareness of suicide as the Baton of Hope passes through the West Midlands.

As part of our local suicide prevention work programme we are showing our support to the Baton of Hope campaign. This is a national campaign to raise awareness about suicide and involves a baton touring UK cities for two weeks over the summer in order to raise the profile of the issue.

A few of our esteemed Members and Officers are showing support today by being virtual baton bearers, including Cllr Kamran Caan, Leader Cllr George Duggins, Lord Mayor Jaswat Singh Birdi, Chief Executive Julie Nugent, and Director of Public Health Allison Duggal.

National data shows that suicide is the biggest killer of men and women under 35 in the UK, more than all road traffic accidents and more than from cancer.

Coventry City Councillor Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for Public Health and Sport, said:

“Every life lost to a suicide is a life lost too soon and it’s something we must do everything we can to prevent. Suicide prevention work is so important because it helps us get closer to a world where everyone has access to the information, support and services they need, and feels confident to talk about suicide.

“No one should ever feel that suicide is their only option. It is of utmost importance that no-one feels alone, and we would encourage everyone in our community to visit the Dear Life website to find out what support is available.

“Together we can reduce the stigma, and get better at asking questions, listening, and directing people to the right help. Suicide is everybody’s business.”

Coventry and Warwickshire residents can visit the Dear Life website. The site provides a range of support and signposting to vital services for residents who are desperately seeking support for themselves or anyone who is worried about a loved one or someone they know.

The mental health challenges that we face differ throughout different stages of our life. Wellbeing For Life has put together a life course map resource, which provides specific advice and resources suitable for various different situations, such as starting secondary school, pregnancy or retirement.

Anyone who is struggling to cope right now can access free support 24/7:

  • Confidential emotional support for residents across Coventry and Warwickshire: call 0800 616171
  • Urgent crisis advice: call 111 or the NHS Mental Health Access Hubs on 08081 966 798
  • Immediate risk to life: call 999 or go straight to A&E

You can find out more about the national Baton of Hope campaign, including the tour of the UK by visiting the Baton of Hope website.

Published: Sunday, 2nd July 2023

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