Suicide prevention event held in St Albans city centre

The suicide awareness event in St Albans with Mind in Mid Herts and councillor Anthony Rowlands. Pic

The suicide awareness event in St Albans with Mind in Mid Herts and councillor Anthony Rowlands. Picture: The Counselling Foundation - Credit: Archant

A suicide prevention event was held in St Albans to raise awareness and encourage people to seek help.

The event was held in the city centre on Wednesday, September 5, from 11.30am to 2.30pm as part of the Spots the Signs and Save a Life campaign, ahead of Suicide Prevention Day on Monday, September 10.

Representatives from Mind in Mid Herts, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, The Counselling Foundation, Spectrum Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services and St Albans council attended and handed out leaflets, explaining how to spot the signs of suicide risk and offering information about the support available locally.

Supporting the event was council mental health champion cllr Anthony Rowlands. He said: “I welcome this initiative. Raising awareness of the signs of suicide is vitally important.

“However, this must go hand in hand with strengthening support for mental health services. In my view, that requires sufficient high calibre specialist staff and that means more investment in our health service.”

Passersby were invited to sign up to the Cycle Around the Globe initiative, which aims to raise awareness of how regular physical activity lowers rates of depression. People across all age groups are encouraged to cycle and dedicate their mileage to the suicide prevention campaign.

Mayor of St Albans cllr Rosemary Farmer said: “World Suicide Prevention Day aims to highlight the signs of suicide risk and the support available to help prevent people from taking their own lives.

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“According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention a person dies every 40 seconds from suicide and up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt.

“Please show your support for World Suicide Prevention Day by taking a cycle ride and dedicating the miles you have covered to this important awareness-raising campaign.”

Prizes will be awarded to people who haved cycled the furthest, and participants are asked to log the number of miles they have cycled on apps such as Strava or Map My Ride and send a screenshot to or tweet using @SpotSignSuicide #HPFTSpotTheSigns #HertsWSPD18.