The month, which is now in its third year, is about raising awareness of suicide by encouraging everyone in Greater Manchester to have open conversations about and play a role in preventing suicide, while inspiring hope across the city-region.
This year, residents and organisations supported the month by participating and attending events organised as part of the month including: Walk of Hope events, Words of Hope an online poetry reading event and the Speak Their Name: Greater Manchester Suicide Memorial Quilt on exhibit at the Lowry.
The Month of Hope is delivered as part of the Shining a Light on Suicide Campaign, which aims to bring the issue of suicide out of the dark and break the stigma that surrounds it, following research showing that talking honestly about suicide helps save lives.
Volunteering at New Order Concert and Parklife
As part of the Month of Hope, Shining a Light on Suicide campaign volunteers were invited to attend the New Order Concert at Heaton Park as well as Parklife Festival. Attending both events allowed volunteers to reach a varied audience to raise awareness of the Shining a Light on Suicide Campaign, give away campaign merchandise and have open conversations with attendees about suicide and the work being done to bring it out of the dark.
Vigils of Remembrance
On the 10th September, two Vigils of Remembrance took place for those bereaved by suicide, one in Salford and the other in Tameside. On the day groups of people came together to mark World Suicide Prevention Day and remember those lost to suicide.
Spreading hope through poetry
On the 23rd September, members of the GM Words of Hope poetry group hosted an online poetry reading event, where members shared their poems of hope.
One poem by Carol Brewer, called Heroes Unsung by Carol Brewer
You can find out more about the group on their GM Words of Hope Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gmwordsofhopepoetry/
Visiting the Speak Their Name Quilt
During the GM Month of Hope, the Lowry exhibited the Speak Their Name quilt in the gallery to allow local residents to view it. During the month the quilt also visited Stretford Public Hall where it was displayed as part of a wider art exhibition.
The Quilt was made in memory of some of those who have died by suicide in the city-region. The quilt is made of 54 unique squares, each one lovingly created by someone bereaved by suicide, supported by Rebecca Jackson, a fibre artist bereaved herself by suicide.
You can find out more about the Quilt here: https://shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk/speak-their-name/
Watch our video of the quilt on exhibit here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CT6gHchgXoH/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Hope through movement
Across Greater Manchester throughout the Month of Hope, walk leaders lead ‘Walks of Hope’ which encouraged people (and their doggy counterparts) to get outdoors, get moving and have open conversations about mental health.
Suicide affects us all. Encourage someone to talk before suicide seems their only option. Together we can help prevent suicide. Find out how at www.shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk
If you’re struggling to cope call Samaritans on 116 123
If you’re bereaved by suicide, you do not need to deal with your grief alone. Greater Manchester Bereavement Service can find the right support for you. Visit: www.greater-manchester-bereavement-service.org.uk
Take the free 20 minute training to learn how to save a life: www.bit.ly/savealife20