Breaking the taboo of suicide

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A PhD student from the University of Bedfordshire hosted the first suicide awareness summit in Luton.

Jolel Miah, along with his charity Our Minds Matter and the Luton Suicide & Self-Harm Partnership Group, hosted the event to raise awareness of suicide and educate people on how to spot the signs that someone might need help.

Visitors had the chance to hear from those who have personal experience of suicide, including mental health campaigner Ben Salmons, who recently received an honorary Doctorate from the university for his work with mental health services.

They could also take part in taster sessions on mental health first aid and suicide prevention and awareness.

Jolel, who is studying a PhD in Behavioural & Health Psychology at the university, said: “We want to build community resilience to suicide and mental ill-health by encouraging people to have open conversations. Suicide can be a very difficult subject to discuss, but the more we normalise talking about it, the less taboo it becomes.”