Wigan town centre observes international Suicide Prevention Day
A yellow flag has been raised in Wigan town centre to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.
Tuesday's event in Believe Square was followed by a Hope Walk to Mesnes Park.
During this week council staff and members of the public have also been taking part in suicide prevention sessions.
Coun Keith Cunliffe, chairman of the borough’s Mental Health Programme Board, hopes as many people as possible will give their support to the Shining A Light On Suicide campaign.
Another way to do that is by taking part in a 20-minute online training session called Save A Life, which gives people ideas on how to support someone considering suicide.
He said: “If 1,000 people do that training and one person saves one person’s life, isn’t that worth it?”
While there are health professionals and voluntary organisations such as the Samaritans providing support for people in crisis, Coun Cunliffe also wants Wiganers to think about helping if they see someone who may be struggling.
He said: “If you are on a railway station and there is someone giving you concern because of their behaviour go and start a conversation with them.
"Just talking to somebody can really have an impact.”
Suicide is the biggest killer in men under 49 and the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 29, with student suicides growing by 79 per cent between 2007 and 2015.
But it is not of course confined to younger males.
“About 20 per cent of people have had suicidal thoughts at one point in their lives," said former mental health nurse Coun Cunliffe.
"It’s highlighting facts about suicide and showing people there’s nothing to fear about talking to somebody about mental health.”
To find out more, go to shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk.
If you’re struggling to cope, call Samaritans on 116 123.
For more information about Start Talking; Stop the Stigma visit their Facebook page
CALM www.thecalmzone.net or ring 0800 585858