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Time to talk in Tower Hamlets

TOWER HAMLETS Council has launched its new Suicide Prevention Strategy 2018-21. The Strategy was launched on 1st February – national Time To Talk day, when people are encouraged to talk about mental health.

The suicide rate in Tower Hamlets is 8.6 per 100,000 – lower than the average for England (9.9) and just below the London average (8.7). The Council wants to bring this rate down further.

Over half of all suicides are carried out by those aged 20-39 and 80% of those committing suicide are men. One issue the Council has identified is that students often do not register with a GP, so they do not have an easy route they can use to seek help.

The Council strategy centres on five key priority action areas:
Early Intervention and Prevention
Improving help for those in crisis
Identifying the needs of vulnerable people
Addressing training needs
Communication and awareness.

Tower Hamlets Council says it is leading a multi-agency suicide prevention group which will oversee the implementation of the Strategy. Other organisations on the Group are the NHS, the Metropolitan Police, Queen Mary (University of London), Transport for London, MIND in Tower Hamlets and Newham, and the Samaritans.

The Council says it is going to put in place “a communication strategy to support national and regional awareness campaigns”.  It has also announced that “one in four people are affected by mental health at some point during their lifetime”. Perhaps that should read that one in four people are affected by mental ill health. That may be one to bear in mind for the “communication strategy”.

The Council has issued a list of organisations which can help those in distress ho may be considering suicide.

For more information on local mental health charity Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham, go to:

For top tips on how to improve mental health, how to get the conversation started and to sign up to the Time to Change pledge, go to:

For further information on Time to Talk, go to:

Emergency 999
If you are concerned that harm to yourself or others is occurring or about to occur call the police and ambulance services on 999. Explain your concerns in as much detail as possible to allow the call handler to provide the most appropriate response.

NHS 111
If you need medical help but it is not an emergency, telephone 111.

The Samaritans offer confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Telephone 116 123

Mental Health Crisis Support
Tower Hamlets: 020-8121 5499
ELFT: 020-8121 5487

Emergency Duty Service/team
Tower Hamlets: 020-7364 4079

Papyrus runs HOPElineUK (Prevention of young suicide, for under 35s)
This is a national confidential support service for any young people (under 35) at risk of suicide, or anyone worried about a young person at risk of suicide.
10am-10pm, Monday-Friday; weekends 2pm-10pm; Bank Holidays 2pm-5pm.
Tel: 0800 068 41 41
Email: [email protected]
SMS: 07786-209 697
Calls and texts are free from all providers and do not appear on bills

CALM Helpline
This offers confidential, anonymous and free support, information and signposting to men anywhere in the UK through their helpline.
Monday-Friday from 1pm-11pm every day, calls free from landlines and most mobiles.
Tel: 0800 58 58 58
Webchat (5pm – midnight)

Maytree Sanctuary
Maytree Sanctuary offers a one-off short stay in a safe place for people in a suicidal crisis. Go to:

SANE Mental Health Helpline
SANE’s helpline is a national, seven days a week, out-of-hours (6-11pm) telephone helpline for anyone coping with mental illness, including concerned relatives or friends.
Tel: 0845 767 8000

ChildLine offers help and advice about a wide range of issues to anyone under 19 in the UK. Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night on the phone, by email or through 1-2-1 counsellor chat.
Tel: 0800 1111

This LGBT+ helpline offers confidential support from LGBT+ volunteers, 10am-10pm every day.
Tel: 0300 330 0630

Petes Dragons Comfort after a suicide
This offers a range of bereavement support to anyone affected by suicide.
Tel: 01395 277 780

Student support/Nightline
Tel: 0207 631 0101 or 07717 989 900

Rape Crisis Service East London
020 7683 1210

Sexual Abuse Service, Tower Hamlets
The Haven Whitechapel 020-7247 4787

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