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Ilminster Forum Updates

‘Walk for a Life’ to highlight suicide prevention in Somerset

Suicide can affect anybody, and there isn’t a community in Somerset which hasn’t been touched. Somerset County Council, together with partners, are helping to raise awareness of suicide at a Walk For A Life’  event taking place Saturday 8 October.

Walk For A Life’ will start at Stragglers Coffee House at Somerset County Cricket Ground at 11am. Originally planned to take place in September for World Suicide Prevention Day, following the sad death of Queen Elizabeth II, the event has now been re-arranged to Saturday 8 October.

The event will raise awareness of suicide in Somerset and is supported by partners including Somerset Foundation Trust <https://www.somersetft.nhs.uk/> , Open Mental Health <https://openmentalhealth.org.uk/>  and Stepladder <https://www.second-step.co.uk/our-services/community-and-wellbeing/open-mental-health/stepladder/> . 

On the day, attendees will walk a route, put together by SASP, through Taunton’s Town Centre in memory of all those impacted by suicide within the County. Walkers can download a free back sign where they can dedicate their walk to a loved one and pause along the route for moments of reflection.

The walk will then end at the Somerset County Cricket Ground, where a number of local partners and stakeholders will be on hand to offer information and advice.

Cllr Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset County Council said: “This event will be an important day to raise awareness of how we can help each other and reduce the stigma that surrounds talking about suicide. We want to take the opportunity to remind our communities that our actions, no matter how big or small, could provide hope to someone who is struggling and that there is an abundance of people across Somerset who want to offer help and support to anyone who is struggling.”

Various activities will be taking place, including shared reading and crafts, and students from Somerset Recovery College <https://somersetrecoverycollege.co.uk/>  will be displaying their artwork in an exhibition. 

There is no need to book – just turn up on the day if you’d like to attend. To download your free back sign, visit www.walkforalife.org.uk <http://www.walkforalife.org.uk> .

The event will also mark the launch of Somerset County Council’s new ‘Orange Button’ scheme: a community-based suicide awareness scheme. 

The Orange Button will be worn by people in Somerset who have undergone quality assured Mental Health or Suicide Prevention training: whilst they are not able to counsel people, they can help signpost to relevant local services.

 he event will also see the unveiling of the Somerset ‘Book of Hope’, a digital resource of quotes, lyrics and words to provide comfort to people in our community in troubling times.

If you would like to contribute, please send your contributions to bookofhope@somerset.gov.uk <mailto:bookofhope@somerset.gov.uk>  using the subject “Book of Hope”

Or tag us in your posts on social media using the hashtag #somersetbookofhope

If you, or someone you know needs support, there are a number of organisations in Somerset that specialise in support related to suicide and mental health. Visit www.openmentalhealth.org.uk <http://www.openmentalhealth.org.uk/>  to discover all the support options that are open to you.



Posted: 24/09/2022 12:20:00

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