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Ipswich Town footballer helps Suffolk Mind raise awareness on World Suicide Prevention Day

Ipswich Town footballer, Jordan Spence will be supporting Suffolk Mind on World Suicide Prevention Day (Monday 10th September) by attending events at Quay Place to raise awareness of the issue.

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people take their own life each year – that’s one person every 40 seconds. In Suffolk, while numbers have been reducing recently, approximately one person takes their own life every week.

At a free drop-in event, Suffolk Mind is raising awareness of the services, support and organisations in and around Suffolk who can help in a time of crisis or following bereavement.

Staff from the charity will be running workshops and talks, providing information on topics such as the language of suicide. Other organisations like The Samaritans, Julian Support, Age UK Suffolk and Time to Change will also be in attendance.

Kim Dodd began volunteering for Suffolk Mind after losing her sister through suicide. She knows how important it is to raise awareness at events like this: “It was a big surprise to many when my sister, Sarah-Jane, overdosed in July 2016; she was always the life and soul of the party and had a smile that could light up the room.

“Like many, Sarah-Jane didn’t think it was acceptable to talk about how she was feeling. Raising awareness of suicide will make people see that it’s real and not just something that happens to other people. By openly talking about suicide it will make it easier for people like my sister to talk about it too.”

Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education at Suffolk Mind said: “The loss of emotional connection is statistically the biggest risk factor for suicide; losing a relationship to bereavement, suicide, break-up, separation and divorce. If a person seems withdrawn socially, it may be an early indicator that they are experiencing depression, a symptom of which can be suicidal thoughts.

“If you know somebody well, then looking out for indications of unmet emotional needs can identify risk of thoughts about suicide arising in response.”

Suffolk County Council’s Public Health department will also be launching a new Suffolk Suicide Liaison Service to support friends and families bereaved by suicide. This is a 12 month pilot service costing approximately £30,000 which will be operated by Listening Ear. The service will work in close partnership with the police, coroner and others to offer 1-2-1 individual support, practical help and signposting to local services.

Events will run at Quay Place, Heritage and Wellbeing Centre in Ipswich, from 11am to 6.30pm on Monday 10th September.