It is a town with a proud tradition of glass and mining and home making for one of the country's most famous sports teams.
But for a long time St Helens is among a mental health crisis and is now as a 'suicidal capital'; England.
Figures for Mirror Online of our 2020 2020 series show that it has the highest suicide rate in the country with 17.9 deaths per 100,000 people.
Local people say the high rates are due to a lack of emergency mental health services as well as a general lack of “downtime” at home.
The MP Labor office Marie Rimmer sees constituents who are struggling with their mental health on a regular basis.
One man was so despicable and said he was "feeling that he wanted to throw petrol on himself and put himself on fire".
Shockingly, a homeless homelessness manager at home with Mirror Online said that he loses one person each month with suicide.
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St Helens was an industrial town – renowned for its rugby team in the rugby series – famous for mining and glass making as far back as the 18th Century.
The cotton and linen industry was also growing at home, as did copper smelting.
Between the 1950s and 1990s, the industry declined dramatically and by 1992 all mines were closed.
With high levels of deprivation, obesity and work-in-work ', many local people feel that much more needs to be done by the council and central government to revitalize the once-growing town.
'More money needs to be spent at home;
Local man Rob Connick said, 62: "It is a serious place where there is no work. St Helens has one of the highest suicide rates.
“It's not just despair, there's no light at the end of the tunnel. It is a shame but more money must be spent at home, to get people from outside and maybe things will improve. ”
It's a mood shared by mother Susan Jones, 52, who says: “There's nothing left, but every place leaves, there's nothing here, it's abandoned.
“It has been neglected, if we want to go anywhere, we go to Liverpool. Even pubs and they are all falling down.
“I don't think there are many job opportunities for people, it's all part-time or they're all in storage miles away.
“My daughter is lucky, she had a job after a job but she gets depression. I think the young people are struggling, I don't know why she's got everything but she's so weak. "
Joan, 71, struggles to withhold tears as she says her son has had little support or no support when he suffered depression.
“My son had mental health issues, he has gone because of a huge heart attack. He was suffering from deep depression from time to time, really black and there was no help for him, "she explains.
“Yes‘ give him these tablets ’but there was nothing to turn him off and I think this is a big issue. There is insufficient support for young people with mental health problems.
“My son really suffered, he was heartbroken to see him suffer.”
From the time the pits went the home has fallen apart;
Local volunteer Nick Dyer, who works with the homeless charity Teardrops, says that there is a decline throughout the town and that people are struggling greatly.
He says: “Since the pits went and downsized Pilkington, the town was really obsolete.
“The children have nothing to do, people are going out of town to shop, and there are serious problems with mental health and homelessness.” T
As manager of Teardrops Hub, Nick sees people from all walks of life and says that people are coming to them for help with issues such as housing and Universal Credit.
“We see between 50 and 60 people a night, we provide food, people can sit and chat or talk to us if they need anything.” T
Nick says that it is estimated that they lose one service user each month with suicide.
St Helens town center is an incredible facility with a standard restaurant, hairdressing facilities, computers and a clothing department where service users can take what they want free of charge.
Breakfast is provided every day and the coffee night opens four nights a week.
Other services include assistance with Indoor applications, PIP and Universal Credit under 1, resettlement support and emergency food packages.
“This is a safe space for people to come and get some support. I say that around 90% of people we support have mental health problems, whether they are homeless or not, ”explains Nick.
“Denise, the Chief Executive, is trained in suicide first aid. I have often sat in the A&E for hours with some of our service users who are suicidal. It sometimes takes them to see them and there is no follow-up as they don't have an address. ”
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Denise says: “I had to discuss a person once at the top of a multi-storey car park because they threatened to get rid of him. We see a lot in this job and we try to help people. We are fully funded by the public, we do not receive any money from the council. ”
But volunteers and campaigners say that so much can not be done without urgently providing emergency mental health services.
It feels there is no help in it;
The service user, Peter Taylforth, 67, bravely told him how he made his life after becoming homeless after his relationship breakdown.
He said: “When it comes to mental health, you don't know when to meet you.
“He snacks behind you and you think you can get to grips with it, but the throat is the next thing. "
Peter told Mirror Online how he tried to kill himself but he was "with five minutes to go".
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“He feels there is no help,” he said.
“Everyone on the streets is mentally ill. I know people who hung themselves.
“It is the biggest suicide rate in the country, the place suffers from drugs and alcohol as there is no work.
“Shops are coming up in the town center all the time, there are a lot of jobs gone, a town that is dying.” T
Suicide intervention trainer Andrea Newton believes that much more needs to be done to tackle the problem as the number of fatalities has remained the same in recent years.
It also highlights the perception of the home and the demands that both businesses and the Council have to engage in the free training for staff.
“When you compare St Helens to other towns in the vicinity, it doesn't make sense,” she said.
“We have the highest number but we have a theory on the same support services as nearby towns.
“It's something we need to be serious about.
It's a good job with a good rugby team;
“The town had a mining history, Pilkington glass works, Beechams industry, none of these industries are still widespread and you only need to walk through the town center to see all the shops.
“Retailers changed big name. If you compare it to the nearby and well-stocked Warrington town – St Helens is the only poor relative.
“It's a good job that we have a good team of rubbish rugby, or otherwise there is nothing to be optimistic.” T
Chrysalis for Change is a mental health charity based in St Helens which provides a range of support services for adult women.
Sian Thomas, manager of the charity, says “women from all walks of life are seen with a wide range of issues from anxiety and depression, to women who have experienced significant trauma and have multiple issues”.
They provide a range of services including face-to-face counseling, stress management and anxiety courses, a Journey Through Grief Program to support women who have lost a large adult, a Home Abuse Support Group and a Therapeutic Arts and Crafts Group.
Sian says that “a significant number of our service users are reporting suicidal thoughts and feelings” but are able to manage these when they engage with charity services.
"We get regular comments from service users who feel our services are 'rescue' and we want the opportunity to be as many women as their lives can change the same way," she said .
Sian says that the suicide rates in St Helens are so high for many reasons.
"St Helens has significant problems including deprivation and poverty, high unemployment rates, high numbers of long-term illnesses, low pay and high levels of domestic abuse," she explains.
“In addition to these generic factors, we have achieved an unsettling sense of our work. People have often lost the hope of achieving something better than previous generations and have developed a sense of life in this town.
"We aim to change that attitude and to show people that change is the most certain and possible, especially if we all work together."
The charity is currently moving to larger premises as they cannot manage the huge demand for our services.
What is being done to change things?
The council created new roles and six Labor advisors were assigned a particular area: poverty, climate change, mental health, homelessness, women and equality and workers' rights.
Local councilor Paul Lynch is tasked with supporting the advice on suicide prevention and improving mental health.
He says that the council has undertaken a number of campaigns and believes that this has led to a slight fall in suicide rates.
“The changing global market and manufacturing processes have an impact on the town which is part of the existing landscape of the town. This has meant that work shortages, reduced financial support and in-work poverty rates at home are a problem. This is in addition to the intensity of the Tories and the unfair cuts imposed on us by the Conservative Government which would interfere with the people of St Helens.
- The highest suicide rate of towns in England with 17.9 suicide per 100,000 people
- At 180 admissions per 100,000 population aged 0-17 years, St Helens has the highest admission rate due to mental health problems in Northern Marine and is the 3rd highest in England.
- Council funding decreased by 25.36% since 2010
- 71.3% of residents are obese
- At a rate of 121 children per 10,000 population under 18, children in the St Helens province have a much higher rate than regional and national averages. The rate of children in need in St Helens in early 2019 is 489.1 per 10,000 children (1,790 cases open to Children's Social Care services); a higher rate of children in need than the North West and England
- Low pay can be an integral part of poverty and poverty obair in work ’is an increasing issue. Almost 31% of jobs in St Helens are paid less than the Living Wage Body's living wage, well above the national average of 23% t
“We are doing everything we can, working with partners, taking opportunities and putting in place a strong program to help our residents to become more resilient and supportive of those in crisis, but there is no quick fix. the reasons for a person to take their own life are complex and different in each case.
“We have a Suicide Prevention Partnership, a range of training sessions from mental health first aid people who are helping to support Zeroosuicide Alliance training, safer care by working with our health partners and bereavement support for those affected by suicide.
“Local analysis suggests that this work is already having an impact and we look forward to a fall in our suicide rates. But the figure is still too high, and we are determined to continue this work to reduce the impact not only of people in crisis but also of their friends and families who need our support. ”
A spokesperson for the St Helens council said: “We are committed to making a real difference to the people of St Helens and working in a highly collaborative approach with our partners and the community to change people's lives.
“Much of the funding for mental health support is provided by our health partners but we are seeking to maximize the impact of our work by working together through our Suicide Prevention Partnership.
“We have a strong program in place to help our residents become more resilient and supportive of those in crisis, but there is no quick fix because there are complex and different causes in each case to build their own lives.
“We run a range of training sessions from mental health first aid people who are there to help people support Zerosuicide Alliance training, safer care by working with our health partners and through bereavement support for those affected by suicide.
“Local analysis suggests that this work is already having an impact and we look forward to a fall in our suicide rates. However, the figure is still too high and we are determined to reduce the impact not only of those in crisis but also of their friends and families who need our support. We have a shared ambition – No More Suicide.
“A similar approach to working with partners and our communities is also working to tackle obesity levels in St Helens. Obesity statistics are among the highest in the North West for children and adults but we are also working to reduce these rates.
“From the redesign of the public regime to our Active St Helens campaign that encourages people to move in any way, as a council we are committed to leading people to healthy lifestyles that can address not only obesity but mental well-being. also be improved.
“We have achieved cost barriers from operating through outdoor gym facilities in parks and free swimming sessions for children. Schools are also very involved as it is important to encourage children to build healthy habits from a young age including healthy meals and snacks until physical activity is an important part of school life.
“We are also working with the Royal College of Physicians and AQuA to test this whole system approach so that we can expand the human health transformation that will benefit us all.
“These are consistently developing issues, showing trends for others across the country, but there is no quick fix. But we are committed to working with communities to change the way they live and to make a healthy lifestyle a norm for all. ”
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