This year, the theme was ‘Take a minute, change a life’. We decided to engage the public through quick, fun minute challenges such as table tennis and circus skills. Grassroots got people talking about suicide prevention and helped them understand what they can do to help. This included various calls to action for the public, including:
- Downloading the award-winning and life-saving ‘StayAlive’ app
- Attending suicide prevention training
- Signing the ‘Tell Me’ suicide prevention pledge
The Grassroots team held an open event at the Unitarian Church, Brighton on the afternoon of Friday 8 September with support from local partners, including, Mankind, Pavilions, Samaritans, Brighton & Hove Alibion, and Pharmacie Coffee. The afternoon involved fun one-minute challenges to engage the public hosted by Brighton Table Tennis Club, a chance to take a framed selfie photo in support of suicide prevention, and an opportunity to learn how to help change a life through open talk about suicide.
Grassroots also had a presence at Brighton Station during the week, working with local street artist Madderdoit? to paint a mural on a prominent electricity box at the rear of the Station promoting the ‘StayAlive’ app, and raising awareness with commuters through an information stall.
Funding for this awareness raising work and training came through a grant from Brighton & Hove City Council’s Public Health team.
“Suicide rates in Brighton and Hove are among the highest in the UK and today is an opportunity for us to highlight this urgent issue. Each suicide is an individual tragedy and has a devastating impact on family, colleagues, friends and the wider community. Grassroots believe that many suicides can be prevented. Our aim is to build the confidence of the public to ensure that they are alert to the risk of suicide and have the confidence to ask direct questions and support a person at risk. We want to send this message out into the heart of the community so that people feel empowered to help others and to start conversations that quite literally save lives. You don’t have to be an expert – in the time it takes you to order a coffee it really could be possible to change the course of another person’s life. World Suicide Prevention Day is a unique opportunity for members of the public to come down to the Unitarian Church and find out more about how we can work together to make Brighton and Hove a suicide safer community.”Grassroots Chief Executive Stella Comber