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Brighter Futures has come together with Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Suicide Prevention Strategic Group to promote the message of suicide prevention.

Stoke-on-Trent based Brighter Futures will lead, and train, a group of Suicide Prevention Community Champions to promote messages of hope – initially based in six areas across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. With Mental Health Awareness Week also around the corner, the message is there to be heard.

Their role will provide local communities with the knowledge and resources to prevent suicide. The role will be organic and integrated within communities, focusing on the message that suicide is preventable.

The campaign messaging #TalkSuicide, will bring people, and organisations together to prevent suicide in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The effects of suicide reach every community and can have a devastating impact on families, friends, neighbours, colleagues, and others.

Suicide prevention remains a priority – both locally and nationally. The Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline, another Brighter Futures service, has recorded more than 50,000 contacts from people concerned about their mental health over the last 12 months alone.

Brighter Futures Chief Executive Helena Evans says: “Talking about our mental health can at times feel uncomfortable and people often report a lack of confidence in knowing how to instigate a conversation with a person they feel may be at risk of suicide.

“We will be supporting Champions in our communities to increase awareness about the myths, facts, and statistics around suicide and provide them with an opportunity to access suicide prevention training.

“Our Suicide Prevention Community Champions will play a pivotal role in working with members of the community to share suicide prevention messages, raise awareness of the signs of suicide risk, and encourage open and honest conversations along with promoting help-seeking and providing information on the source of support.”

Brighter Futures has been a leading provider of mental health services since 1974 in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Their range of support includes the 365 days-a-year Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline, Safe Spaces, Social Prescribing, and the Clubhouse Network.

For more information – visit www.brighter-futures.org.uk.

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