Our first Suicide Prevention Strategy was successfully launched on Friday 17 February and is available in an electronic, fully interactive format.
The underlying message of the strategy is that we all need to talk more about suicide, to try to help those most at risk.
The strategy was unveiled to an audience of staff and members of the public at a special event in Bexley.
Families and friends who have been bereaved by suicide came to the event and spoke of their experiences and they have been essential in helping us to shape our strategy.
Linda Gask, a consultant psychiatrist and professor from Manchester University, was a guest speaker. She emphasised the need to keep communication channels open and to challenge the stigma that still surrounds this life-shattering event.
Dr Ify Okocha, Medical Director at Oxleas, said: “We each have a duty to do all we can to prevent suicide. This plan sets out steps we are taking to reduce suicides locally.
“Through raising awareness and training, as well as the delivery of safe and effective care, we can reduce the likelihood of suicide.”
Dr Lesley French, Clinical Director and Head of Psychology for Children and Young People’s Services at Oxleas, said: “It has been an immense privilege to work alongside bereaved parents, siblings and friends who have been so brave and open about telling their stories.
“The impact of their words helped to get across the message that communication is vital and we will continue to work alongside these families to inreach into schools.”
Read our Suicide Prevention Strategy here.