Walking out of Darkness to raise awareness about suicide

August 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm

A 10-mile walk between Bath and Bristol is taking place on Saturday 10th September, to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

‘Walking out of Darkness’ – organised by charity CLASP – aims to highlight how we can all make a difference through communication, education and increasing awareness around mental health and suicide prevention, and in effect reduce suicides across the region and the UK.

Suicide in the South West has risen according to recent figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) with specific increases in females during 2014.

Together with Public Health England (PHE), West of England Sport Trust, local councils and many other charities, including Rethink Mental Illness, CLASP invites people to walk in unity on World Suicide Prevention Day to raise awareness and end the stigma.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and ONS found of the 6,233 people who completed suicide in 2014, over 70% were not known to mental health services or NHS and suffered in silence, due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Walking Out Of Darkness has support from MPs across all major parties including Minister for Mental Health Alistair Burt who said: “This is an excellent example of awareness-raising in mental health. If we are going to finally break the taboo around mental health, we need more people to openly talk about these issues. This event is helping people to do that.”

Former Minister for Care and Support, MP Norman Lamb is in full support of this cause and event. He stated: “It is an appalling statistic that suicide is the biggest killer of young men in Britain, while 9 out of 10 people with mental illness experience stigma and discrimination. Walking out of Darkness is a fantastic way of bringing people together to increase awareness of issues around mental health and suicide prevention, and hopefully raise lots of money for charity in the process.”

Helen Yeo, Chair of the North Somerset Zero Suicide steering group, commented: “We are really pleased to be supporting the Walk out of Darkness event in Bristol and Bath this September. Sadly suicide rates are high in the local area and we feel strongly that events like this help raise awareness around the issue of mental health and suicide and work towards reducing the stigma.”

Registration for the walk is only £10 via www.claspcharity.com and participants are given the chance to fundraise for any UK mental health charity they wish to support.

The 10 mile route starts in Green Park, Bath before heading along the Bath to Bristol cycle pathway and footpath along the river Avon with some majestic scenery.

There will be two refreshment and first aid points along the route and an opportunity to enjoy the event with family and friends whilst inspiring people across the UK. Information kiosks will be present at the end of the event.

Watch the Walking Out Of Darkness promotional video, here.

To register for the event, click here.

If you are concerned about mental illness or suicide, call NHS 111 or speak to your GP immediately.

Walking out of Darkness poster

August 25, 2016 at 1:41 pm | News | No comment

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