Hundreds attend first Suicide Prevention Conference in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

A commitment to achieving an ambition of zero suicides in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent was the focus of a major event hosted by the Together We’re Better health and care partnership.

Almost 300 people from health and care services, alongside voluntary and community groups, schools, colleges and other organisations came together for the Suicide Prevention – Making a Difference Together Conference, held in Stoke-on-Trent.

Together We’re Better’s Mental Health programme is aiming to reduce the number of suicides across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. A Zero Ambition Suicide Charter setting out this aim was signed at the event by a number of TWB partners.

The event heard from a range of specialists on the day; however, the most powerful stories were given by those whose lives have been touched directly by suicide or of feeling suicidal and who spoke of the importance of communication.

New psychiatric intensive care facility helping to reduce out of area mental health placements in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

A new state-of-the-art facility providing specialist mental health support has opened in North Staffordshire.

The £2.4m Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is based at Harplands Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, comprising six bedrooms with en-suite facilities.

Opened by North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, the unit is linked directly onto the adult acute wards at Harplands and been designed to accommodate both male and female patients. It includes activity rooms, therapy rooms, a therapy garden and seclusion facilities.

The facility will allow specialist treatment to be available quickly for patients and as close to their home as possible. It has been designed to accommodate demand from the Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire areas, which will mean patients no longer have to travel significant distances to access this level of psychiatric care.