Sussex Search and Rescue charity backs importance of World Suicide Prevention Day

'˜We have to get the message out' about World Suicide Prevention Day, Sussex Search and Rescue team leader Paul Francis has said.

Monday, 10th September 2018, 5:35 pm
Updated Monday, 10th September 2018, 5:38 pm
The charity wants to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day

Paul, who is also secretary of the charity, believes that if the suicide awareness day saves just one life it will have been a success.

Paul said: “Talk to friends and family. If you think someone’s having problems just talk to them.

Sussex Search and Rescue has about 60 volunteers

“It may be that just having a conversation with them is enough for them to seek help.”

Highly-trained search and rescue volunteers

Sussex Search and Rescue is a registered charity that receives no funding from the Government, Paul said.

But they are on call 24/7 to assist Sussex Police in locating missing people.

If you think someone is suffering, start a conversation, is Paul's message

Paul said: “We have got about 60 members at the moment, all volunteers.

“We average around 40 callouts a year.

“It is usually either people with some form of dementia or people who have given an indication that they might want to harm themselves.”

Police ‘do not have the resources’

This graphic shows the scale of the issue

Paul said Sussex Police rely on Sussex Search and Rescue for help in searches.

He added: “They do not have the resources.

“We can put 20 trained searchers out on the ground in the space of an hour.”

He added that the charity’s volunteers are specially trained in search and rescue.

Because they receive no Government funding, Paul said help from the public is important to keep them going.

Members of the public can donate time or money on the Sussex Search and Rescue website.

Samaritans are here to help

A spokesman for Samaritans said: “Samaritans is here round the clock every single day for the year for anyone struggling to cope. If you’re worried about someone, or would like emotional support yourself, please get in touch.”

To contact Samaritans call 116 123 for free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Or you can email [email protected]

The spokesman added: “If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is free to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.”