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New money will be available for suicide prevention programme

Number of suicides in Kent falls

The number of suicides in Kent has fallen, and health and social care bosses want the trend to continue.

In 2016 there were 167 suicides, which fell to 141 in 2017, according to Kent County Council.

Now suicide prevention work across Kent and Medway is to receive a cash injection of £667,000.

 

The money will come from NHS England and Public Health England as part of the government’s commitment to cut suicides by 10% by 2021 as it attempts to reduce the rate to zero.

Funding will go to Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), a collaboration between the county council, Medway Council and all Kent’s NHS organisations.

Glenn Douglas, chief executive of Kent and Medway’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: “People taking their own lives is a big issue for the health and well being of our population.

Peter Oakford from KCC

“The extra money this year will help us to pull out all the stops to prevent deaths by suicide. I will make sure that the STP works tirelessly to help people look after their minds and for services or support to reach people in good time.”

Peter Oakford, the KCC cabinet member for public health, added: “This new funding is very welcome and we are pleased the work we have been leading on so far, including the Release the Pressure campaign, has been recognised on a national scale.

“As we have seen recently in the Coronation Street plot and the subsequent national discussion around a male character’s death, men are less likely to ask for help from friends, family or mental health services than women.

“Just as important as the funding, is the collective will and the joint working between organisations to reduce suicide numbers across Kent and Medway. The funding will help us continue to encourage anyone who is feeling the pressure to talk to someone.”

Support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the Release the Pressure support line Freephone 0800 107 0160.

The campaign website also includes case studies from men in Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide.

You can also call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit its website.

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