Dr Neil Hudson MP met with mental health champions from local charity, Every Life Matters to address the mental health challenges in our communities and help promote suicide prevention training locally.
Emphasising the need for collective action, Dr Hudson sheds light on the commendable local initiatives working tirelessly to fight the scourge of suicide and keep people safer.
Every Life Matters promotes suicide safer communities and bereavement support across Cumbria. Like Dr Hudson, they are passionate that improvements to mental health outcomes cam be improved through more open dialogues within society and are there too when tragedy strikes and the ripples of a suicide are felt throughout our communities.
Dr Hudson has undergone ASIST suicide prevention training which he has utilised and found incredibly helpful. Every Life Matters are one of the leading providers of this training in the UK, having delivered 14,000 free suicide prevention places to Cumbria residents since 2020.
A passionate advocate for improving the nation's mental health Dr Hudson has worked tirelessly throughout the year to make this a reality. His successes include:
- Securing a review of school curricula to include safe age-appropriate suicide awareness after securing a meeting with the Prime Minister and 3 Dads Walking. He also met with the Education Secretary and Mental Health Ministers who offered support to Dr Hudson's campaign.
- Welcoming a major national government strategy to reduce the number of tragic suicides in the UK. More here.
- Giving a wide-ranging speech on improving mental health which can be watched in full here.
Cumbria like many rural parts of the country, grapples with a complex myriad of factors that elevate the risk of suicide. Dr Hudson unpacked these in a report he co-authored with cross-party MPs from the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. From rural isolation and access challenges for mental health services to unique shock factors such as extreme weather events and animal disease outbreaks, the report highlights acute pressures on rural mental health. You can read the full report here.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
"Every Life Matters are an incredible group of hardworking local volunteers making real change within our communities. It was so heartening to hear about their monumental efforts in upskilling local folk with the tools to help each other prevent the tragedy of suicide.
"It was a real privilege to meet the Every Life Matters team and I look forward to supporting them as we move forward. It “is ok not to be ok” and I hope people reading this will learn more about the issue and feel comfortable to start those all important conversations with loved ones about their own mental health be it healthy or otherwise."
Chris Wood, CEO of Every Life Matters said:
“It was heartening to know Dr Hudson is championing the cause of rural mental health and suicide. In Cumbria we have 50% higher suicide rates than the England average, partly due to vulnerabilities like our rurality and our agricultural workforce.
"Every Life Matters believes that suicide prevention is everyone’s business, that we all have a part to play in saving lives. We want to see suicide first aid training rolled out at scale in our county to help us recognize and respond to someone who is having a suicide crisis bought on by challenging life events. It is our friends, family and colleagues wo are best placed to see when we are struggling and to act.
"Every Life matters is committed long term to delivering training, campaigning and awareness raising activity across our community, and to ensuring that those bereaved by suicide have access to timely and effective support. To do this we rely on donations from the general public. If you live in Cumbria and suicide prevention is a cause close to your heart, which you intend to fundraise for, then we would urge you to think local. Cumbria is fortunate to have a very active local suicide prevention and suicide bereavement support charity and we ensure all funds donated to us are used for the benefit Cumbrian communities.”
Every Life Matters have a range of mental health, grief and suicide prevention resources which can be found at their website: https://www.every-life-matters.org.uk