Two new projects have launched across Wirral to assist in emergency situations, or where people find themselves in a position to help someone in crisis.
Wirral Council has been working in partnership with Merseyside Police and Wirral Mind to co-ordinate these initiatives.
The first campaign provides members of the public with information, help and guidance on what to do if they see someone in crisis. Free training in suicide awareness is now available to anyone – either online with the Zero Suicide Alliance, or by attending a training session delivered by Wirral Mind – and information leaflets will be shared widely across the borough.
The second project sees numbered signs installed on motorway bridges to enable the public and the emergency services to identify those locations in the event of an emergency – such as traffic collisions and other crisis situations.
Merseyside Police have reported delays for the emergency services, when callers cannot provide an exact location.
This partnership initiative has been jointly funded by Merseyside Police and Wirral Council, in support of the road safety priority theme of the council’s Community Safety Strategy.
Sergeant Haydn Ward of Merseyside Police said, “The most important thing for us when we’re trying to respond to a person in crisis is being able to get to them quickly. Our contact resolution officers who answer emergency calls are fantastic, but if the person can’t give us a precise location then there’s going to be a delay, and if we don’t know where they are we can’t put safety measures into action.
“I’ve been championing these signs since I experienced first-hand, as a response officer, what the consequences of a delay are to someone in crisis. Now I think I’ll rest a little easier.”
Councillor Janette Williamson, Leader of Wirral Council said, “Suicide is completely devastating to family, friends and loved ones and if it happens in a community setting that impact is felt even more widely. But suicide is not inevitable, it can be prevented, however, it takes all of us to be prepared to step in if we think we see someone in crisis. This can seem an incredibly daunting thing to do which is why we’re working with our partners to try and raise awareness and make practical changes where we can.”
Both campaigns, although separate projects, are linked and were in place for World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10th.
The theme for World Suicide Prevention Day 2022 was ‘Creating hope through action’ and aimed to remind us that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Observed on September 10 each year, World Suicide Prevention Day provides the opportunity for people across the globe to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention.
Image: One of the new location signs on a bridge over the M53