Work continues on reducing suicide rate in Chorley which is identified as a Lancashire blackspot

Chorley is among the top five districts in Lancashire for suicides or drugs deaths

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 12:30 pm
Chorley is among the top five districts in Lancashire for suicides or drugs deaths

.A total of 23 people were suspected of having committed suicide in Chorley in an 18-month period, it has been revealed.

The latest figures were presented to a multi-agency group in the borough.

The Chorley Public Service Reform Executive was given an update on suicide awareness and prevention at its latest meting in December.

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A view of Chorley town centre

The town is ranked at the top of the tragic table of reported suspected suicide and drugs deaths in Lancashire, along with Lancaster, Preston, Blackpool and Burnley,

Since April 2019 - up to October 20, 2020 - 23 people, 16 male, seven female, have died. The most prominent age group is the 25-29-year-olds.

The data was provided by Lancashire Police and processed by NHS England.

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Suicide Prevention Logic Model Action Plan and approach update also included a suicide awareness and prevention action plan for Chorley, including training available for staff, businesses and communities.

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS) Suicide Prevention Multi Agency RTS Panel Group was established in 2018 to seek greater co-ordination of responses to and understanding of patterns of suicide and to ensure suicide reduction activity takes place.

The national Preventing Suicide Strategy sets a target of a 10 per cent reduction in all suicides nationally in 2020-21 and zero suicides within in patients across the NHS.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health set out an ambition to reduce the number of suicides in England by 10 per cent by 2020/21.

The Chorley Suicide Awareness and Prevention Steering Group have developed an action plan with a focus on prevention, intervention and use of intelligence, linking with the L&SC Suicide Logic Model.

The intention is to progress the work of the plan up to March 2021.

Work completed to date includes:

*Links to mental health support have been added to the Chorley Council website

*Support for mental health have been cascaded to teams supporting vulnerable residents

*Training for bereavement support has been cascaded to the Chorley Community Hub during lockdown period.

*Chorley Council communications team have supported campaigns ran by Healthier Lancashire through social media links.

*Links to the service map directory developed by Healthier Lancashire have been shared widely across networks with 400+ entries included.

*What Remains Screening, a film to help support people affected by suicide has been shared widely with networks.

As part of the action plan and to support prevention and raise awareness around suicide, a full range of training to support staff at the frontline, community leads and businesses has been commissioned through Lancashire MIND.

Chorley Council have been working with Vicki Wagstaff, clinical network manager for mental health (self-harm, depression, dual diagnosis and suicide prevention, to understand the training opportunities available through the Orange Button Scheme, and the recently developed bereavement pathway of support.

The Orange Button Scheme community project ensures people who have been trained in suicide prevention/awareness can be identified through badges and stickers in shop windows.

The Executive was told in a report: “In view of increasing concerns on levels of completed suicides in Chorley, and higher levels of anxiety and mental health issues from residents, it seems reasonable to make this training available through relevant networks and council staff. This training is free up to March 2021.”

The report also stated: “Concerns are that although work can be delivered by the district council in supporting awareness and training opportunities, clear pathways to mental health support need to be established in the locality to support how deaths due to suicide can be prevented/reduced.”