An extra £365,000 will be invested over the next year in mental health services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire following a successful bid by the local CCG to NHS England.
It follows an evaluation of the HOPE pilot suicide prevention project run in conjunction with Public Health England and local voluntary sector organisations.
The HOPE project offers support to people whose mental health is affected by financial difficulties.
“This funding is vital if we are to end the tragedy of suicide in the area,” said Dr Peter Brindle, Medical Director of BNSSG CCG.
“It will allow the CCG, the universities, Public Health and the voluntary sector to work together to make a real impact on this important issue.”
“In light of the recent rise in suicides and self-harm in young people nationally and locally, we have agreed to use some of this money to support suicide prevention initiatives aimed at those in the universities and FE colleges in the BNSSG area,” added Dr Brindle.
This will include an immediate system wide focus, working with the universities on increasing capacity to provide a broader range of support and increasing access to advice and counselling for students internal and external to the university.
Funds will also be used to focus on men, as a local high risk group, in two ways.
The first is through a new service offering psychosocial intervention to address acute distress created by financial, employment or welfare difficulties. This will be done through the expansion of the HOPE project.
The funding will also be used to raise mental health awareness and wellbeing for men in the area.
The CCG will work closely with Public Health and the voluntary sector to promote suicide prevention training in industries, such as construction, and promote events aimed at men such as “Movember” and other sports related mental health promotion work including a Time to Change football tournament.