The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on nearly everyone’s mental health. For some people, the difficulties that have been faced have led them to thoughts about taking their own life. For anyone …
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on nearly everyone’s mental health. For some people, the difficulties that have been faced have led them to thoughts about taking their own life.
For anyone struggling during the pandemic and beyond, help is always available.
Dear Life is a new suicide prevention website which aims to reach people in Coventry and Warwickshire who are desperately seeking support or anyone who is worried about a loved one or someone they know.
dearlife.org.uk, created by local health and social care professionals, provides a range of support and signposting to vital services for residents who don’t know where to turn for help to address complicated and negative thoughts and feelings.
According to Samaritans, death by suicide increased by 10.9% in 2018 in the UK, with a rise among under-25s and middle-aged men. Between 2016 to 2018, there were 230 suicides in Coventry and Warwickshire – one suicide will always be one too many.
In response to this, and with the growing focus on the effects of Covid-19 and how this is impacting on mental wellbeing, professionals working together as the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership CWHCP developed the new resource. It offers a wealth of information about where to get help in a crisis, advice on how to maintain good mental health and ways to support others in need.
Partners including Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and NHS services developed Dear Life to:
- signpost residents in Coventry and Warwickshire to the local and national suicide prevention support
- provide steps to help someone who is worried about their own, or someone else’s, wellbeing
- build safer communities by raising awareness of suicide prevention training opportunities
- remove the myths around suicide and encourage people to talk openly about their mental health
- support people who have been bereaved by suicide
- give help and advice in maintaining good mental health.
The website also enables people to share their experiences with a blog. Through our partners and charities, people can submit stories about mental health and suicide to encourage people to open up and talk about this topic. It is hoped this will help to open up conversations about suicide by helping people to recognise it’s okay not to feel okay and help is available, and at the same time create a culture of kindness across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Dr Sharon Binyon, Medical Director at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said: “The development of this website was an important opportunity for all partners to come together to raise awareness of suicide and the support we jointly have available to everyone across Coventry and Warwickshire.
“If you or someone close to you has had thoughts of suicide, the Dear Life website has been carefully constructed and designed to help you find support, provide lifesaving steps and advice in maintaining good mental health.
“I encourage everyone to share Dear Life with family, friends and colleagues.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Death by suicide has devastating consequences for family, friends, colleagues and communities. We want to make sure residents feel supported and safe by knowing there is always help available for them.
“The Dear Life website is a really positive development to our suicide prevention work. It provides residents with advice on a topic that many find difficult to approach. I urge everyone to visit the site, learn more about the subject and share it widely among their community.
“We want to remind everyone that they matter, they are not alone and there is always support available to them. Life is dear, keep hold of it, you are not alone.”
Coventry City Councillor Kamran Caan, portfolio holder for Public Health and Sport, said: “We have been working with our partners to raise awareness and reduce the rates of suicide in Coventry. Unfortunately, mental health is not talked about enough and the Dear Life website is a fantastic way to help everyone in our city to feel they have somewhere to go for advice at a time they or someone close to them is struggling.
“It is of utmost importance that no one feels alone and we would encourage everyone in our community to explore the website and share with anyone that could benefit from support.”
The website has been developed following a period of research with input from national charities and mental health campaigns. The website will continue to evolve as we receive new information to support people. For questions and to give feedback, please email [email protected].
For people who can’t access resources online, there is help available to you. If you are struggling to cope, please call Samaritans for free at any time, from any phone on 116 123. If you have seriously harmed yourself, call 999 or ask someone to call 999 for you.