Kent to get £700,000 for suicide prevention schemes

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Suicide prevention schemes in Kent have been boosted by £667,000 of central government funding.

This is the county’s share of a £25million spend by NHS England and Public Health England, who aim to reduce the number of people taking their lives every year by 10 per cent by 2021.

Funding will be used to extend Kent County Council’s ‘Release the Pressure’ campaign, which alerts people to a 24/7 support Freephone line.

It will be also spent on suicide awareness and prevention training, research and boosting mental health services at ‘high risk points’.

Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive of Kent and Medway’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, said: ‘People taking their own lives is a big issue for the health and wellbeing of our whole population.

‘The extra money this year will help all of us to pull out all the stops to prevent deaths by suicide.

‘I will make sure that the partnership works tirelessly to help people look after their minds and for services or support to reach people in good time.’

The money has been awarded to the partnership, which is a collaboration between Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and all the NHS organisations across Kent and Medway.

Around 6,000 people commit suicide in the UK every year, according to charity Samaritans.

The issue is said to be a priority for Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who pledged the £25million as part of his ‘zero suicide ambition’.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, said: ‘Suicide destroys lives and is devastating for the loved ones they leave behind.

‘We need to do everything we can to offer more help to people in distress and this is a big step towards that.’

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