A mental health organisation is calling for more awareness of the importance of talking to someone sooner – with 1 in 5 people accessing its North East crisis service having suicidal thoughts.
Everyturn Mental Health’s ‘Together in a Crisis’ (TIAC) service works across North and South Tyneside, Northumberland, Teesside, Sunderland, and Newcastle – offering immediate, practical support to people experiencing mental health crisis.
The non-profit reports that there has been a significant increase in suicidality amongst the local people supported by its TIAC service. From January to August 2023, 18% of people referred to the service had suicidal thoughts, with some regions seeing a 55% increase over the past 12 months.
In many cases, the rising cost of living was the main reason for accessing the services, such as financial issues due to a lack of work, or poor mental health due to low income. In a number of these cases, the delay in getting additional welfare support triggered severe mental health issues.
To meet the increasing demand in recent years, Everyturn has invested in the crisis support it provides across the North East, receiving £1m from NHS England, in partnership with the North East and North Cumbria NHS Integrated Care System, to open locations across the region that will offer out of hours support to people in mental health crisis, with the first opening in early November. The non-profit also recently partnered with The Greggs Foundation to offer immediate financial relief through a supermarket and utilities voucher scheme.
Emma Chambers, Crisis Service Manager at Everyturn Mental Health said: “Our latest figures show that the North East continues to struggle with the cost of living crisis. It is heartbreaking that the number of people experiencing suicidal thoughts continues to increase, and we, as a community, must do everything we can to ensure everyone gets the support they need.
“Our crisis services and partners work tirelessly to help so many people find practical ways to manage their mental health, and through our partnerships with the likes of The Greggs Foundation, we are continuing to take more action to improve access to much-needed support.
“It’s important that if you are struggling, you can talk to someone as soon as possible.”
As part of Everyturn’s ongoing ‘It’s All Mental’ podcast series, to encourage more open conversations around all things mental health, they collaborated on three episodes with the Jordan Legacy, Bags for Strife and Baton for Hope to better understand how organisations can reduce the stigma around suicidality and encourage everyone to ask for help more directly, sooner.
Steve Phillip, Director and Founder of The Jordan Legacy said: “I have spoken to enough people now that have felt they’ve reached a point of being completely trapped in a situation with no sense of any kind of hope at all who have attempted to take their own lives and then realised afterwards or at that very moment, they wanted to live.
“There is hope, hang in there, talk to people, and let people know how you are feeling you will not be a burden to them at all.”