‘START’ in Salford are delivering ‘Bags for Life’ through social housing tenants across Salford.

‘START’, through the multi award winning ‘Reach Out’; Start to End Suicide’ campaign is now delivering ‘Bags for Life’ which have suicide prevention messages on both sides.

One side of the bag is directed toward those experiencing suicidal thoughts; reminding them that health and support are available.

The other side toward those concerned about a loved one, and how the best way to ask if they are struggling.

‘Bags for Life’ with Suicide prevention messages. (photo Taken by, Dennis Baldwin)

Reach Out to End Suicide Project Manager, Dennis Baldwin, 52, said: “During the pandemic our engagement work couldn’t be face-to-face so we were looking for ways we could actually continue the work,

“that’s when the concept came up for our ‘bags for life’ and we were distributing them through food bags and social housing,

“it keeps our contact up with people struggling or people that know people that are struggling.”

With static wages and surging tax, food and energy bills causing a cost of living crisis across the country.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has claimed benefits need to be twice as much as planned in 2022 in order to support the poorest in society through the crisis.

The ‘Bags for Life’ are hoping to deliver live saving messages through to people who find themselves or their loved ones in incredibly difficult and challenging situations which have a massive impact on their mental health.

Dennis Baldwin, Project Manager said: “it’s scary times for all of us at the moment but we need to look out for those that are most vulnerable

“We haven’t seen a rise in suicides from the pandemic but when the economic crisis hits we are going to expect to see a massive rise in suicides.”

Salford City Mayor and Greater Manchester Deputy Mayor, Paul Dennett praised the initiative and said: “The last couple of years have been tough and have tested everyone’s mental health.

“It’s vital that we continue to raise awareness that it’s okay not to be okay and are not afraid to talk about mental health and suicide. Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy for all of us.”

If you provide social housing in Salford and would like to join the ‘Bags for Life’ project as part of ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’ email dennisb@startinspiringminds.org.uk .

If you are worried about someone or are experiencing thoughts of suicide contact:

Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org

Childline (0800 1111 ) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number won’t show up on your phone bill.

PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a national charity supporting teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It doesn’t have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information. http://www.depressionalliance.org/

Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts. Bullying UK is a website for both children and adults affected by bullying. http://studentsagainstdepression.org/

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