Between 40 and 50 people commit suicide in Cambridgeshire every year, report reveals

09:22 05 September 2014

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Shire Hall, Chambridge.

Archant

A person commits suicide almost every week in Cambridgeshire, a council report has revealed.

A report from Cambridgeshire County Council’s director of health Kathy Hartley, which will be presented to the council’s Health Committee on September 11 says, on average, 40 to 50 people take their own lives in Cambridgeshire each year.

To combat this, the council will create a joint Cambridgeshire and Peterborough suicide prevention strategy which will attempt to reduce the amount of suicides.

A ‘Stop Suicide’ campaign for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will be launched this month.

In her report, Mrs Hartley says the risk of suicide is higher among people with existing mental health problems, people with drug and alcohol problems, homeless people, unemployed people and migrant workers.

Therefore, she recommends that training in suicide prevention be offered to people within organisations such as Job Centre Plus or the Citizens Advice Bureau who are most likely to be in contact with vulnerable people in high-risk groups.

The council should work with coroners to collate local suicide data every three months and produce an annual suicide audit, she adds.

The report said: “We must provide solutions for self-help and emphasise that suicide is preventable. There are preventative actions individuals can take if they are having thoughts of suicide or know others who are at risk of suicide.

“The impact of mental illness and substance abuse as risk factors for suicide can be reduced by access to effective treatments and strengthened social support.

“Suicide or people who have died by suicide should not be glorified or romanticised. Vulnerable people, especially young people, may identify with the attention and sympathy garnered by someone who has died by suicide.

“We need to teach people how to tell if they or someone they know may be thinking of harming themselves and how to protect them from this harm.”

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