10 September - Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council


Today is World Suicide Prevention Day – a day when we encourage people to help prevent suicide.

The signs that someone might be contemplating suicide are not always obvious and having a simple conversation with someone in need is quite often all it takes to make a real difference and prevent someone from ending their own life. However, we know that this is not an easy thing to do or an easy topic to discuss, but we must be brave.

The Zero Suicide Alliance has developed free online training to help anyone gain the skills and confidence to have these conversations and help someone who you suspect might be considering suicide or is at such a low ebb that you are concerned for their wellbeing.

I would urge you all to please, take 30 minutes out of your day to take this training: www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training

There is also a wealth of support out there from different organisations, both locally and nationally, to help people of all ages who are struggling with their mental health. Details of these can be found on our website here

As you know I am passionate about the environment and having a place where we can spend time to reflect is important. When you lose a loved one it can be hard to move on and get through the dark days; I have found that being outdoors in our natural environment is a good way to help with this. There are many places within our borough that have been created as places of reflection or in memory of loved ones including the newly established Hope Coppice in Dickens Heath or Katherine’s Wood in Balsall Common. Please do visit the many parks and green spaces within our borough to experience the benefits that peaceful reflection outside in nature can bring.

This week I was pleased to launch the West Midland’s first plan for the natural environment in my role as environment lead for the West Midlands Combined Authority. The plan sets out the actions we will take over the next five years to enhance the region’s biodiversity, protect endangered species, and improve access to green spaces and waterways for residents. You can read more here

Finally, I must mention that there have been 742 new cases of COVID within Solihull over the last week, which shows it is still circulating locally in quite high numbers. Our health colleagues are continuing to treat people being hospitalised with the virus, so please, if you haven’t had your vaccine yet – do so as soon as possible. To reduce the risk of COVID rates going up even more over the autumn it is vital that everyone gets both doses.

Local mobile clinics are continuing to run in Solihull including at Mell Square and Chelmsley Wood.  These have proved very popular and you can keep up to date with their locations and other local vaccination information here. You can also book vaccine appointments online through the National Booking Service or by calling 119. 

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council