Suicide projects get lottery cash
Two projects in Wales which aim to support people at risk of suicide and prevent it have each been given lottery grants of almost Ã‚Â£1m.
They are among 19 projects across Wales to receive funding worth Ã‚Â£14m from the lottery’s Mental Health Matters scheme.
Also benefiting are people affected by bipolar disorder and those with drug and alcohol problems.
Seventeen young people from the Bridgend area are believed to have killed themselves in just over a year.
The Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust will be using its Ã‚Â£999,000 award from the Big Lottery Fund to run its Let’s Talk project, which aims to reduce stigma and improve public awareness of mental health issues across the Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot borough areas.
Two co-ordinators will be employed to run the project and develop a broader base of people who can identify mental health issues in their communities.
The cash injection will also enable support groups to be set up and improve co-ordination at accident and emergency departments so that those patients who survive a suicide attempt are signposted into appropriate services.
“One in four of us is likely to experience mental health problems at some point during our lives so it is important to recognise the issue”
Barbara Wilding, Big Lottery Fund
Dr Tegwyn Williams, director of mental health service within the trust, said he hoped the funding would help “reduce the number of tragic self-inflicted deaths” in the community.
Mind Cymru’s suicide intervention programme Positive Choices -will benefit from almost Ã‚Â£1m funding over the next five years.
The charity hopes to use the money to train more than 13,000 people in suicide intervention skills and develop a website for anyone concerned about suicide.
A two-day course will help frontline workers and community members recognise someone who is feeling suicidal and give them the skills and confidence to intervene.
Lindsay Fosyter, director of Mind Cymru, said the success of the Positive Choices project would depend on working in partnership with other key agencies.
Barbara Wilding from the Big Lottery Fund said the projects would have a “significant impact” on the lives of people who suffer from mental health problems in Wales.
“Our funding will make an important strategic contribution to developing mental health services across the country, by helping people with mental health problems and supporting projects that try to overcome the barriers that they face,” she said.
“One in four of us is likely to experience mental health problems at some point during our lives so it is important to recognise the issue.”
A project helping people with mental health problems receive tailored educational courses in north Wales and Powys has also received just under Ã‚Â£1m from the Big Lottery Fund.
Homeless people in Newport are also set to benefit from a grant of over Ã‚Â£300,000 to a charity which aims to provide them with therapeutic help.
And a grant of almost Ã‚Â£800,000 will enable the Eating Disorders Association to better support people in Wales affected by eating disorders
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