Travelling sofa highlighting suicide prevention
and live on Freeview channel 276
A sofa will be travelling around Northamptonshire giving people the opportunity to sit and chat about their mental health.
Following World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September 2023, the 'Take a Break' campaign will be encouraging passers-by to stop, sit and talk, to help to raise awareness of suicide prevention and the services that can provide support, as well as reducing stigma around suicide and self-harm.
The brown leather two-seater sofa will be transported to different locations across Northamptonshire, over six days at varying times, with different organisations supporting at each place.
The campaign is being run by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) with support from West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire Public Health teams.
The sofa will be out and about on:
· Sunday 10 September – Wicksteed Park, Barton Rd, Kettering, 10am–2pm
· Wednesday 13 September – Thrapston Livestock Market, Market Rd, Thrapston, 8am-11am
· Thursday 14 September – Brackmills Industrial Estate, Northampton, 12noon–3pm
· Friday 15 September – Rushden Lakes, Rushden, 12noon–2pm
· Saturday 16 September – Becket’s Park, Northampton, 12noon–2pm
· Sunday 17 September – The Amazing Northampton Run 2023, Market Square, Northampton, 8.30am–12noon
In the UK, 115 people die by suicide every week – with 75 per cent of those deaths being male (ONS), 1 in 5 people have suicidal thoughts (NHS Digital) and 1 in 14 people self-harm (NHS Digital).
The ‘Take a Break’ campaign aims to tackle this by providing a relaxed environment for people to chat, share any concerns they have, and find out how to get help.
Lisa Pearson, NHFT’s Suicide Prevention Lead, said:
“We really hope this campaign captures people’s imaginations and encourages them to stop and have a chat about how they are doing.
"There is no pressure, no judgement, it’s just a chance to sit and talk, find out more about services which can support you if you’re struggling with your mental health, but also to gain support if you are worried about someone you know in your family or social circle.
"We’re taking the sofa to places with high footfall, and have targeted areas where we know people experience challenges with their wellbeing. We want to normalise conversations around suicide, get people talking and challenge the stigma that surrounds this really important issue.”
Lisa added: “Preventing suicide is a whole community approach, so it’s great that we’re teaming up with other organisations on this campaign. We hope people look out for the sofa and come and have a chat.”
Councillor Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at West Northants Council said:
“This campaign is a unique way to talk about a very important topic, which can affect many of our lives. We hope you can join us in making suicide prevention everyone’s business and ensuring we can support each other to live our best lives.
"Please do drop by and have a chat to one of the team at the locations mentioned.”
Councillor Helen Harrison, Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing says:
“It’s vitally important to me that we acknowledge the mental health risks to those in our rural communities, particularly our farmers, which is why I am really pleased that the sofa will be sited at Thrapston Livestock Market on Wednesday.
"I’m also delighted that the sofa will start its journey at our lovely Wicksteed Park on World Suicide Prevention Day itself. If you are out and about in North Northamptonshire at the park, market, or shopping at Rushden Lakes, do come along and ‘Take a Break’.”
World Suicide Prevention Day takes place annually, and this year’s theme is ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.
Find out more about suicide prevention at www.nhft.nhs.uk/suicide-prevention.