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Tuesday 21 May 2019
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Sea of Hands of Support

We are supporting the Sea of Hands of Support initiative during Mental Health Week

Staff members, patients, visitors and members of the community are invited to come to Salford Royal and show their support for people affected by suicide.

 

Salford Royal is supporting the Sea of Hands of Support initiative during Mental Health Week (May 13-17).

 

The Sea of Hands of Support is organised by START, a Salford based Therapeutic Creative Arts Charity which supports people in recovery from mental ill health. Last year the organisation celebrated 25 years of working with the people of Salford. In this celebratory year, START decided to channel energies into a year of campaigning with its ‘Reach Out-Start to End Suicide’ work, which is funded by Salford Clinical Commissioning Group’s innovation fund.

 

This campaign commemorates those lives lost through suicide and aims to save lives in the future, build resilience within the community and end stigma. This campaign wants to change behaviours and attitudes to suicide prevention, amplify the voices of people with lived experience of suicide and promote individuals to reach out to those in need of support and/or at risk of suicide and for them to be able to reach out for support.

 

START has been touring Salford with its campaign and on Wednesday, May 15, Salford Royal will be a destination on this tour. Staff members, patients, relatives, visitors and members of the community are invited to come down to the gardens between Hope Building and Mayo Building on the Salford Royal site between 10am and 2pm to write a personalised message on and plant a hand (yellow polystyrene hand) to create a ‘Sea of Hands’.


Medical Director Dr Pete Turkington said: “Sadly more than 200 people a year take their own life in Greater Manchester and for every suicide that occurs there are up to 20 more suicide attempts. Suicide touches and devastates so many families and we need to do more to talk about suicide in an honest, open and direct way with a view to ensuring people who are having suicidal thoughts know that there is help out there for them.”  


Director of Social Care Cath Gormally, who has responsibility for mental health within the organisation, said: “Well done to START for this innovative and incredibly touching campaign – we are wholeheartedly behind it. We’d invite as many people as possible to come down on May 15 and write their message within the ‘Sea of Hands of Support’. The message could be words of support, encouragement and hope for those experiencing suicidal thoughts.”


START Project Co-ordinator Dennis Baldwin said: “We want the ‘Sea of Hands’ to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with the people around them and support anyone struggling with life. We want it to promote and nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly support others and talk about their experiences of suicide and end the stigma around mental ill health and suicide. We are really pleased to bring this campaign to Salford Royal and hope to see staff members, patients and visitors come along and make their statement of support.”


To find out more about the ongoing work in Salford to help prevent suicide and for signposts to support services, visit www.salfordccg.nhs.uk/live-well/mental-health/preventsuicide/salford-suicide-prevention-strategy