Trafford groups team up to raise awareness of suicide

Flag raising

Staff at Trafford Council and NHS Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have teamed up to raise awareness about the issue of suicide.

The local authorities are keen to reduce the number of suicides in the borough by increasing support available for people at risk of suicide, as well as helping those bereaved or affected by it.

Suicide is actually the biggest killer of men under 49 and women aged 20-34 in the region.

Tuesday 10 September is Suicide Prevention Day and a flag was raised at Trafford Town Hall to highlight it this morning, kicking off a month of awareness raising in Trafford.

Andy Graham, from Carrington, was in attendance. He attempted suicide on a number of occasions but now wants to raise awareness of the issue.

He said: “I suffered for many years with mental health. It started a long time ago when there wasn’t the support available.

“I tried to end my life, I drank too much and I suffered with nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks.

“But now I want to raise awareness and let people know that recovery is possible. No-one should have to go through what I went through and I want everyone to learn how they can help to support people suffering from suicidal feelings.”

Cllr Jo Harding, chair of Trafford Suicide Prevention Group, said: “One in five people have had suicidal thoughts yet it’s something that doesn’t get talked about.

“We want to change this. We want people who are suffering to know that they are not along and can talk to people – whether that is friends, family, colleagues or professionals.

“But talking is a two-way thing so we also need friends, family and colleagues to feel they can talk to the person who is suffering

“Often we don’t know how to approach the subject or feel that we could do more harm by talking about it.

“But the opposite is the case. Suicide is preventable and talking to someone about their mental health can really help.”

The CCG and Council are looking to raise awareness of the issue by hosting a number of blogs on their websites by people with experience. These include issues of combating the stigma and bereavement support. There will also be useful links directing people to sites that can help them at

Dr Liz Clarke, NHS Trafford CCG’s mental health clinical lead, said: “Sometimes, people know they need help but don’t know who to turn to. Other times, it’s friends, relatives or colleagues or someone who want to help but don’t know where to start.

“We want to make sure people know that help is available and that they can access support at the earliest possible stage. No-one should have to suffer alone.”

Posted on Tuesday 10th September 2019