More than 100 charities share £5.4m in suicide prevention funding

The government has announced that 113 charities are sharing £5.4m in funding aimed at preventing suicide among high-risk groups, including men and among Black communities.

The funding has been made available through the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) following an increase in demand for mental health services amid the Covid pandemic.

Money is being used to fund therapy, workshops to tackle the stigma of mental health and helpline support.

A Suicide Prevention Plan is to be published by the government later this year to detail further support.

The funding awards have detailed by the DHSC to mark Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9-15).

Among charities to benefit is James’ Place Charity, which has been handed £284,000 to provide suicide prevention therapy to men in Merseyside.

“At James’ Place, our professional therapists work with men in suicidal crisis who have an active plan to end their lives or who have recently made an attempt,” said the charity’s chief executive Ellen O’Donoghue.

“The DHSC’s Suicide Prevention Fund has made a huge difference to the men we supported at our Liverpool centre in 2021 and 2022. We are now focussing on expanding our provision further, opening our second centre in London and three more beyond that, so that we can reach more men and help them to find hope for the future.”

Another is the Caribbean & African Health Network, which has been awarded £41,500 to tackle taboos around suicide in Black communities and run virtual chat and support sessions for young people.

Charles Kwaku-Odoi, chief officer of the Network said: “The funding will enable us increase understanding and knowledge of practical suicide prevention techniques via different platforms helping people to spot the early signs and act appropriately.”

Meanwhile support charity Papyrus is using its £152,000 award to provide support and advice services to young people around suicide prevention.

According to the DHSC there were more than 5,000 suicides in 2021. Around four in ten are among people in their 40s and 50s. Men aged 45-49 are the highest risk group.

Health minister Gillian Keegan said: “The suicide prevention voluntary sector has played a crucial role in providing people with the help and support they need throughout the pandemic, and I thank them for all they do.

“Suicides are preventable tragedies when the right support and help is in place.”

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