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Cash boost to help reduce suicide rates

MONEY has been earmarked to tackle Warwickshire’s suicide rates, which are among the highest in the county.

Health service providers will benefit from a £351,610 share of a £25million pot of cash that has been set aside by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health England (PHE), and NHS England marks.

It forms part of the government’s commitment to reduce suicides in England by ten per cent by 2021 and will support the zero suicide ambition for mental health inpatients.

Warwickshire has the highest rate in the West Midlands, at 12.2 per 100,000 people, compared to 9.9 per cent across the whole region.

The rate for male suicides is 19 — significantly above the national figure of 15.3 and the highest rate for the region.

Meanwhile the rate of female suicides in both Coventry and Warwickshire, five per cent and 5.6 per 100,000 people respectively, is higher than the England average of 4.8.

The funding will pay for targeted prevention campaigns, psychological support for people with financial difficulties, better care after discharge, and improved self-harm services for all ages.

Sharon Binyon, medical director of Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and mental health lead for Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “A key element of our focus will be men who are experiencing mental health issues and we will further develop our existing suicide prevention campaign, It Takes Balls to Talk.”

Duncan Selbie, chief executive at Public Health England, added: “Suicide destroys lives and is devastating for the loved ones they leave behind.

"We need to do everything we can to offer more help to people in distress and this is a big step towards that.”

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