Suicide in Derbyshire is on the up- Chesterfield residents who've lost loved ones speak out on what must be done to save lives

Tricia Black, who lost her beloved dad to suicide, is campaigning for change.
Tricia Black, who lost her beloved dad to suicide, is campaigning for change.

As figures reveal that suicide has increased in Derbyshire, residents whose loved have taken their lives say that communication is key in battling the issue- and have urged anyone struggling to ‘just talk.’

The concerning data released by the Office for National Statistics today (Tuesday, September 10) on World Suicide Prevention Day, show that the number of suicides in Derbyshire is on the up for the first time in four years.

There were 73 suicides in Derbyshire in 2018, reflecting the trend seen across the UK where the number climbed to its highest for three decades last year- driven by a significant rise in the male suicide rate.

Tricia Black, whose much-loved dad Terence Neal took his own like at Dronfield Railway Station aged 77 last year, spoke to the Derbyshire Times in light of the increase.

Tricia, who has created a pamphlet containing helplines and advice and works closely with mental health agencies across Derbyshire, said: “I’d reiterate what I’ve said before which is, just talk. You don’t have to go to your GP if you don't want to.

“With more online resources than ever before, you can Skype or even email for help. It’s never been easier to reach out.

“Prevention also needs to start young. As a former teacher, I know that little boys in particular are still encouraged not to cry. Why? We should let them cry and help remove the stigma.

“If you’re out on the street and are concerned about someone, try to stop for a chat.

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“There are times I wished I’d stopped for someone but didn’t. Now, because of my dad, I always make sure to.”

In May, the heartbroken mother of Chesterfield woman Claire Johnson spoke to us after her daughter’s inquest, during which the coroner concluded the 36-year-old had taken her own life.

Lena Dunn claimed that inadequate support was offered to Claire during her fight with depression, adding: “Claire pulled the rug out from under all our feet, none of us saw it coming.

“I cannot put this across enough. If you are struggling please, please talk to someone.”

Nick Stripe, from the ONS, said: "We saw a significant increase in the rate of deaths registered as suicide last year, which has changed a trend of continuous decline since 2013.

"While the exact reasons for this are unknown, the latest data show that this was largely driven by an increase among men who have continued to be most at risk of dying by suicide.

"Looking at the overall trend since the early '80s, we are still witnessing a gradual decline in the rate of suicide for the population as a whole.

"We will continue to monitor the recent increase, to help inform decision-makers and others that are working to protect vulnerable people at risk."

Support is available right now if you need it:

THE SAMARITANS: https://www.samaritans.org/branches/chesterfield/ or call 116 123 for free

MEN-TALK CHESTERFIELD: https://www.facebook.com/pg/MenTalkChesterfield
PAPYRUS (for people under age 35): Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm

CHILDLINE (for children): 0800 1111

OR

Talk to your GP

Call 111 out of hours- they will help you find the support you need

Talk to someone you trust

Contact your local mental health crisis team

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