The Civic Offices in Epping will be lit green on Sunday 10 September for World Suicide Prevention Day.
Creating hope through light
The ‘Creating Hope through Light’ campaign runs from Monday 4 to Sunday 10 September to raise awareness of preventing suicide and encourage residents across Essex and Hertfordshire to have open conversations about this sensitive subject.
It is a joint initiative from Mid and South Essex, West Essex and Hertfordshire Integrated Care Boards, and Thurrock and Brentwood Mind as part of their wider #LetsTalkAboutSuicide campaign.
Creating Hope through Light aims to reduce the stigma around suicide, get people talking about it and encourage everyone to participate in free online training; as well as highlighting other mental health resources available in Essex and Hertfordshire.
To show support for the campaign, Epping Forest District Council’s (EFDC) Civic Offices will join other buildings and landmarks across Essex and Hertfordshire, including Clacton Pier, Brentwood Town Hall, Hertfordshire County Hall, and Civic Centre in Harlow in lighting up in green.
Open and honest
Cllr Darshan Sunger, Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, said:
I am so pleased EFDC is supporting the ‘Creating Hope through Light’ campaign this year.
Being open and honest about how you are feeling is not always easy, but it is so important; suicide is a preventable and avoidable death. Everyone should feel able to support someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts.
I urge everybody to join this campaign to help raise awareness and support those in need.
Save someone’s life
Alfred Bandakpara-Taylor, Deputy Director of Mental Health at NHS Mid and South Essex ICB, said:
We want people to challenge their friends, family, work colleagues, their communities, and the organisations they work for to become a part of our ‘Creating Hope through Light’ event this September to help prevent and reduce suicides. Whether it is lighting a building green, talking to other people about preventing suicide or taking the training – you may help save someone’s life.
See, say, signpost
The suicide prevention training focuses on 3 key elements:
- See the problem
- Say the words
- Signpost to support
The free training is to help give people the knowledge and confidence to talk to someone who might be at risk of or thinking about suicide.
If you would like to find out how to get involved visit the Let’s Talk about Suicide Essex website
Lynne Morgan, CEO at Thurrock & Brentwood Mind said:
We are deeply humbled by the response from organisations that have already stepped up by supporting the ‘Creating Hope through Light’ campaign, as well as challenging their own staff to take the training.
This is the 3rd year we have run this campaign and every year we hope more people and organisations will join us and get as many people as possible taking the suicide prevention training. The past few years have been challenging for everyone off the back of Covid and the cost of living crisis, now more than ever we think this kind of training is vital for everyone to help spot someone who may be struggling.
Show your support
In Essex, in 2021, 115 people took their own life. In 2022, 88 people in Hertfordshire lost their life to suicide. Suicide is in fact the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom in men under 50.
You can show your support by joining the campaign on social media. Upload your videos and messages of support by using #CreatingHopeThroughLightEssex
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