Between 2009 and 2011, there were 130 suicides a year on average in Kent and Medway. Around three quarters were men, particularly middle-aged men.
Research indicates that increasing unemployment and recession are often linked to an increase in the number of suicides.
NHS Kent and Medway wants to make sure that people in Kent and Medway know how to stay safe, and how to look after themselves, their friends and family.
Nationally, a film about staying safe and recovering from suicidal thoughts will be launched on 10 September, World Suicide Prevention Day, by the U Can Cope Coalition.
The Coalition is an alliance of more than 100 UK organisations, including Samaritans and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which is working to spread the message that it is possible to overcome suicidal thoughts and feelings.
A trailer for the U Can Cope film can be viewed at www.connectingwithpeople.org along with other resources for adults and young people who feel suicidal.
Karen MacArthur, Consultant in Public Health for NHS Kent and Medway, said: “Suicide prevention remains a high priority for the NHS in Kent and Medway and we want to see a reduction in the number of local deaths from suicide. Access to support services can be vital in helping people to cope and find a way to survive. ”
Anyone feeling despair is encouraged to speak to someone - whether a friend, their family, their doctor or Samaritans (available 24 hours a day on 08457 90 90 90, and at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The free Mental Health Matters helpline offers confidential emotional support and advice, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for people in Kent and Medway, on 0800 107 0160. Helpline staff are trained in counselling skills and have details of local services.
Online support is also available via the Live It Well website, www.liveitwell.org.uk, which has details of local services and support across Kent and Medway.
People in severe distress who are already being treated by a specialist mental health team are advised to call their care co-ordinator.
Anyone experiencing severe distress for the first time should see their GP who will be able to refer them to appropriate services.
Support is also available for people who have been bereaved, whether by suicide or other causes. Contact Cruse on 0844 477 9400 or at email@example.com Young people who are grieving can call the Cruse young people's helpline free on 0808 808 1677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
World Suicide Prevention Day is sponsored by the International Association for Suicide Prevention and the World Health Organisation. Its theme this year is "Suicide Prevention across the Globe: Strengthening Protective Factors and Instilling Hope."
04 September 2012