Funding for Community Groups Running Projects to Prevent Suicide

Posted on: 12th July 2020

Community groups can now apply for funding for projects to support Cornwall’s aim to prevent suicide.

Cornwall Council and its partner NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group have provided over £70,000 of funding, and community groups can apply for up to £10,000 towards projects that either contribute towards people’s mental health and well-being or directly work towards preventing suicide.

Any community group, charity or organisation can apply for the funding and there is a particular focus on projects that aim to reduce suicide by middle aged men, by people in treatment services, and reducing self-harm.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for children, wellbeing and public health Sally Hawken said: “We have an active ‘Towards Zero’ movement in Cornwall that acknowledges that suicide is a preventable death – not an inevitable death.

“It’s important that the community leads these sorts of projects as they are best placed to know their individual communities and what is most needed, so we want your ideas about how to save lives across Cornwall.”

During 2016-2018 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly saw an average of 70 deaths per year by suicide which equates to more than one death per week.  Suicide rates are at 14.3 per 100,000 people which is significantly higher than suicide rates in both England (9.6) and the South West (11.1).

Cornwall Council’s interim Director of Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth said: “We also know that the suicide rate among men is three times higher than the rate among women. The rate is highest in men aged 35-64 years, followed by men aged over 65 years.

“It is imperative that we all do more, every one of these deaths is a tragedy for the family, friends and community of those who died. I really look forward to seeing the applications as they come in as I know community groups will have some great ideas on ways they could help people when they need it the most.”

Dr Paul Cook, NHS Kernow clinical lead for mental health, said: “This is a great opportunity for local community groups, who may know from their own experience, what would make a real difference in our campaign to reduce the number of deaths from suicide. As a GP I see, people working tirelessly and passionately to try and prevent the tragedy of suicide, while very often it’s the simplest ideas which can have a huge impact and I encourage our communities to come forward with their ideas and save lives.”

The application form can be downloaded on our mental health webpages.

Anyone who is struggling with their mental health can find information on the support available on the council’s website

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has also recently launched a new 24/7 open access telephone service for anyone worried about their mental health.  Support is available to anyone, regardless of age, all day every day, by calling free on 0800 038 5300.