Another busy day out in the constituency, where I had the pleasure of visiting The Listening Place, a local charity that provides face-to-face support to people with suicidal thoughts.
Since launching, this Pimlico-based charity has worked with around 3100 referrals, managing to save the lives of all but three. Currently managing around 200 referrals a month, The Listening Place soon expects this figure to rise to around 500 per month.
Not only does The Listening Place achieve fantastic results, its work saves a significant amount of money for the NHS. Where it can cost the NHS around £550 per night to support a suicidal person, it only costs The Listening Place £250 per year. Clearly, there are lessons to be learnt from the methods of this wonderful charity.
I got the chance to sit down with Sarah Anderson CBE and discuss the vital work the charity does. The Listening Place provides suicidal people with a caseworker that they can get to know on a personal level and who can help them find an alternative way out of their personal despair. Many people commit suicide because they feel they have no other option however a study of survivors who jumped from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge showed that 90 per cent regretted it immediately. Sometimes the thing people need most is for someone to help them realise they always have another choice.
There are currently on average two suicides per day in London and it is currently the highest cause of death for under 35 year olds. I welcome the progress the Government has made in regard to mental health however there is still more to be done. Though charities, such as The Listening Place, do a fantastic job supporting people in their darkest hours, it is too big a challenge for them to take on alone.
For more information on The Listening Place please see here.