Watch: We join the Baton of Hope UK Tour in Birmingham to raise awarness of suicide prevention

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The Baton of Hope is visiting 12 cities across the UK to start a converstion and to raise awareness about suicide prevention

The Baton of Hope came to Birmingham today Monday (July 3) - raising awareness for those affected by suicide. It’s touring 12 cities across the United Kingdom, starting in Glasgow and ending in Downing Street. The simple message is “where there is hope, there is a real opportunity to save lives”.

Craig Guildford, Chief Constable for West Midlands Police, says: “It’s so important that nationally we raise this issue and make sure that people are confident to be able to talk about it. Suicide awareness is something that happens, sadly to lots of families around the country, and it happens to individuals but also to organisations. Because people work in different sectors across the economy.

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“And from a policing perspective, quite often, this is not talked about internally. And we do have officers and staff members who sadly take their own lives, as do ambulance, as do fire. So we’re coming together today, and to celebrate the Baton of Hope to raise suicide awareness for the benefit of all our employees, but also to raise it across the country and to be able to say, is good to talk about it is safe to talk about it. And most importantly, there is hope.”

The Baton of Hope Tour has been travelling across the UK. Representatives from a variety of charities and care organisations have unified for this cause, to show that help is available for those who are struggling.

The Baton of Hope arrives at New Street Station in BirminghamThe Baton of Hope arrives at New Street Station in Birmingham
The Baton of Hope arrives at New Street Station in Birmingham | Local TV

The escalation in suicide rates poses a grave public health concern. It’s the leading cause of death in men under the age of 50 and all people under the age of 35. Despite the availability of support services and escalating efforts to draw the public’s attention to this issue, the problem continues to increase. This brings to question why society is struggling to stem the tide of people choosing to end their lives.

Karl in Birmingham talks about what can be done to curb the increase in suicides across the UKKarl in Birmingham talks about what can be done to curb the increase in suicides across the UK
Karl in Birmingham talks about what can be done to curb the increase in suicides across the UK | Local TV

Karl says: “It’s a difficult one - I work construction, and there’s a massive push on mental health awareness. It’s needed, I think more so in men because men don’t always talk about problems, we tend to bottle them up whereas women are a bit more open.

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“What can be done? Make people more aware that help is out there because let’s be honest about it - a lot of people don’t know that there is help there. But that needs to be more on TV, our media, radio stations, push it out there and let people know there is help.”

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