Do you know a Gypsy or Traveller person who has died by suicide?
It can be really difficult to talk about suicide, but by talking about it, we can start to make things better. Official data shows that Irish Traveller people living in Ireland are over six times as likely to die by suicide. We believe that the figures in England, Scotland and Wales are similar and that the Government can and should be taking action to address this. We want to work to prevent future deaths by suicide in Gypsy and Traveller communities.
However, data on deaths by suicide in Gypsy and Traveller communities is not collected in England, Scotland and Wales and this means the Government know little about how suicide impacts Gypsy and Traveller people. This in turn means that the Government does not have any targeted activities planned to reduce suicides within Gypsy and Traveller communities as it does with other groups such as middle aged men or people who have served in the army.
Without data, it is difficult to make the case that there should be more support for Gypsy and Traveller people who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. Therefore, we are asking people who know a Gypsy or Traveller person who has died by suicide to share their details with us so we can build an evidence base of those people who have died by suicide from Gypsy and Traveller communities. Any personal data we collect that identifies individual people will be kept very safely and will not be shared outside of Friends, Families and Travellers.
How will this help?
If we are able to show how Gypsy and Traveller people have been badly affected by suicide, we hope that this will put pressure on the Government to:
- Invest in Traveller-led suicide prevention projects which help people to access the support they need
- Ensure that local mental health services are inclusive and welcoming to Gypsy and Traveller people
- Support Gypsy and Traveller people to improve their understanding and knowledge of mental health
- Ensure that information about mental health is easy to access for those who can’t read or write, or who don’t feel confident using computers or smartphones
How can you take part?
If someone that you know from a Gypsy or Traveller community has died by suicide, you can share details about them with us and we will include this in our evidence base. We will ask you some questions about the individual through our online form which will take about 5 minutes to answer. If you would find it easier to answer these through a phone call, you can contact Josie on 07436228912.