Black Lives Matter

Common-Unity and the Excellence in Third Sector Award

Screenshot from the online awards ceremony

Early in 2020 we were excited to be told that we had been shortlisted for the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce Award “Excellence in The Third Sector.” This nomination was alongside 7 other local organisations who provide essential community support across our region. The other nominees were:

  • Black Country Living Museum
  • Breast Cancer Haven, West Midlands
  • Family Society Adoption Focus
  • Gro-Organic CIC
  • Millennium Point Charitable Trust
  • Suited for Success
  • University Hospitals Birmingham Charity

Recognition

Common Unity were shortlisted with recognition of over a decade of hard work in supporting communities to engage with their own health and wellbeing.

Particular programmes of work were highlighted including our Suicide Prevention work with the development of the SCHEMA Suicide Prevention Training Programme, our Male Peer Support Programme known as ManMade and our hugely successful online directory of health and wellbeing services known as The Waiting Room.

The Awards Night

With the pandemic hitting hard in April, the event was moved online for broadcast in July. The event witnessed over 1,500 viewers with the event trending 3rd in the whole of the UK on social media during broadcast due to the diligent work of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to make best of a challenging situation.

Thank-you

On the night we didn’t win the award but are still hugely thankful for the experience and very humbled to have been nominated for the Chamber Award in this area.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work of our Associates and supporters over the years including Forward For Life, Cruse Bereavement Care Birmingham, Public Health Birmingham, Birmingham and Solihull CCG, Birmingham City University (well done on your award by the way!) and many more.

Get in touch

If you want to engage with us and hear more about the work we do and how we could link with yourselves please don’t hesitate to get in touch

So let’s face the facts as we know them….

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3 out of every 4 deaths by suicide in England are by men.

Men are struggling. They find it hard to engage with existent mainstream health and social care services and often would prefer to suffer in silence than seek help. So it stands to reason, there is a need to ensure that where services make a greater impact through being man focussed in respect of suicide prevention, then such preventative services and awareness raising opportunities should be developed; and they are; Targeted approaches to preventing suicide amongst men are hot on the agenda across Health and Social Care as rightly they should be…right? But let’s look again because there is something being missed here… or not being highlighted…

If we look at the most recent suicide data for England supplied in September 2016, with a little bit of investigation, there appears to be a clear yet under-stated fact – the number of women attempting and dying by suicide in England is increasing and nobody seems to be really saying why that might be or what can be done, but it is there – in your face.

So what’s going on?

There are a number of potential reasons why this shift may be occurring, but whilst the time passes for the ‘facts’ to be outed further, we need action and maybe there is a simple way forward for this action. Whilst I accept that there is a need for targeted approaches in respect of suicide prevention for specific groups (such as ManMade), the fact that suicide knows no boundaries in respect of who it affects means that suicide prevention should hold no boundaries as to who engages with it.

Suicide is not an illness and it is not only people with a mental health need that are at risk; It’s not about age, class, gender or sex – but it is about crisis, it is about hopelessness and the person at risk not feeling able to find a way out of the situation other than by suicide. Suicide behaviour effects all walks of life and has a huge negative ripple effect across communities and it is only through a concerted effort across all sectors of our communities and all professions at all levels that we can start to make some headway in reducing the number of people that die by suicide.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please call Samaritans free on 116 123

If you live in the Birmingham area and want to know what local support services are out there then why not check out The Urbrum Waiting Room