People from our region have shared their stories about suicidal thoughts to show others who may be having similar thoughts that they are not alone and that help and support is available.
Ben, from Merseyside, and Stephanie, from Cheshire, talk openly about their struggles with mental health and suicidal thoughts in two short films.
They’ve told their stories as part of a suicide prevention campaign and to promote the support available from the suicide prevention app – Stay Alive.
Ben talks about how he lost everything including his family, his home and even his dog. He says he wanted his life to end every single day until he got the help and support that he needed.
Steph, from Chester, talks about how losing her Dad impacted her mental health, leading her to suffer with suicidal thoughts. She encourages people to reach out and get the help that they need.
The Stay Alive app
The campaign encourages people who have suicidal thoughts and their loved ones to download the StayAlive app. It provides accessible suicide prevention support including a safety plan and LifeBox where people can upload images or videos that remind them of their reasons to stay alive. The app also directs people to local help and gives people the tools to start a conversation about mental health and suicide.
The Stay Alive app, which is available free on iOS and Android devices, has been updated with changes to services in Knowsley following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Developed by charity Grassroots the app has several key features including:
- Information on how to access local crisis services in the Cheshire & Merseyside area
- Quick access to UK national crisis support helplines
- A safety plan that can be filled out and used if a person is in a crisis and needs to keep safe
- A ‘life box’ which allows a user to upload photos from their phone to remind them of reasons to stay alive;
- Fact-based reasons for staying alive;
- Strategies for staying safe from suicide
- Supporter resources for when you are supporting someone who is suicidal
- Suicide myth-busting
Cllr Sean Donnelly, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said:
The pandemic has impacted the mental health of most people and for many people with existing mental health issues it has exacerbated the suffering. The StayAlive app could help you if you are having suicidal thoughts or could help save the life of someone in suicidal crisis so please download it on to your phone.”
Sue Forster Director of Public Health (DPH) for St Helens and Lead DPH for Suicide Prevention in Cheshire & Merseyside said:
This is such an important time for us all to look after our mental health. It is vital for those people who are suffering to know that there are others out there who have also been through this and come out the other side, and that there are services and tools available that can help. The StayAlive app is one such tool which is free and easy to use if you are suffering with suicidal thoughts.”
The campaign forms part of Champs’ ‘No More Suicide’ strategy which aims to eliminate suicides across Cheshire and Merseyside by ensuring there is access to adequate suicide prevention support for those at risk.
In addition to the Stay Alive app, 24/7 help and support is available across Cheshire & Merseyside to help people struggling with their mental health. The helpline number – 0800 051 1508 – is for adults, children and young people.
Samaritans – A safe place to talk 24 hours a day about whatever is troubling you Call 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.
Amparo – Support for anyone affected by a suicide. Call 0300 088 9255 or visit https://listening-ear.co.uk/amparo/
SOBS (Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide) – meeting the needs and overcoming the isolation experienced by people over the age of 18 who have been bereaved by suicide. Find out more by calling 0300 111 5065, emailing email@example.com, visit the website or follow on Twitter.
Knowsley CAMHS Services offers advice and support for people aged up to 18 and can help with lots of problems or worries such as if you’re feeling depressed, not enjoying food, feeling panicked or scared, having trouble concentrating, or having problems with your family life. Find out more by calling 0151 489 6137.
Kooth provides online and face to face counselling, information, advice and support for young people in secondary schools. Find out more on Kooth’s website.
Papyrus – For Children and Young people under 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide or anyone concerned that a young
Call 0800 068 41 41 www.papyrus-uk.org
Think Wellbeing Knowsley offers support to Knowsley residents with common mental health problems such as anxiety or depression, helping them to change the way they feel by changing the way they think. A number of online and face-to-face options are available and you can find out more by visiting the Think Wellbeing website.