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SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY: Councillor shares story of grief to mark the day


A leading Councillor has spoken about her experiences with grief and loss as Manchester City Council prepares to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. 

This year’s theme, Creating Hope Through Action, was thought up with the goal of encouraging people to find ways to feel hopeful, even in the darkest of times.

The past 18 months have undoubtedly been some of the most difficult many people will ever have experienced. Multiple lockdowns, the loss of friends and loved ones to the Covid-19 virus and greater isolation have placed a great strain on people’s mental health.

However, speaking about her own personal experiences with grief and loss, Councillor Joanna Midgley, Executive Member for Health and Care, reminds people that help, support and hope is out there.

She said: “We have all collectively lived through a traumatic experience over the past year and a half. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront how vital it is to understanding and recognising the impacts of mental illness, and why taking the time to try and find the hopeful things in life is so important.

“The loss of work, suffering from isolation and loneliness, anxiety over catching the disease, financial hardship and the deaths of friends, colleagues and loved ones have all played a part in people’s hardship.

“Not even being able to grieve for our loved ones can be a hugely difficult experience. During the early months of the pandemic I lost my mum, but due to restrictions as a family we weren’t able to say goodbye or have a proper funeral.

“Today we are talking about suicide and how we can prevent it from happening. The very act of talking about it helps lift the stigma around it and create a more positive dialogue about mental health. One in five people will experience suicidal thoughts during their life, and in 2019, 18 people a day in England and Wales lost their lives to suicide.

“We have to remind ourselves that we are not alone, that there is help out there and that collectively we can all shine a light on suicide and save lives.”


(Video & image from Manchester City Council)

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