17 March 2015

City’s public health boss chairs suicide debate

Brighton & Hove City Council’s director of public health is chairing a debate about how suicide affects those left behind on Wednesday 18 March at 7.30pm at The Basement in Kensington Street, Brighton.

Dr Tom Scanlon is chairing ‘Surviving suicide – how can those left behind ever make sense of a death through suicide?’.

The event is being held as part of the Brighton Sick Festival, which focuses on a range of mental health issues. The council’s public health team has contributed £10,000 toward the running of the festival.

Dr Scanlon said: “Starting debates and conversations about difficult mental health issues can really help people.

“One reason so many lives are lost through suicide is because the people involved often find it difficult to share their problems with other people and get the help and support they so desperately need.

“People who lose friends and loved ones often also find it difficult to talk about their experience of shattering loss. Breaking through this silence is the key to helping people with their mental health issues and making sure they have the support they need to rebuild their lives.

“The Sick Festival does a great job bringing mental health issues that some people would rather not talk about out into the public domain.”

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, talk to someone and make sure you get help.

The Samaritans offer a 24 hour listening service, phone 01273 772277.

Mental health professionals also offer telephone support on the Sussex Mental Health Helpline, phone 0300 5000 101.

HopelineUK on 0800 068 41 41 is for people up to the age of 35 or anyone concerned about a young person. For hours of availability and more information see: www.papyrus-uk.org/more/hopelineuk

In Brighton and Hove mental health emergencies are treated as seriously as physical health problems. If you are at urgent risk as a result of a mental health problem there are alternatives to attending A&E which can be accessed through your GP or by calling the NHS on 111.

Services available include 24/7 telephone support from a mental health professional, as well as face to face appointments.