Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 19:00 UK

Support after third village death

General view of Bettws
More policing and street pastors are being introduced to help

More support services are being set up in a village in the county of Bridgend following the third suspected suicide there since April.

Carwyn Jones, 28, was found hanged in the community of Bettws on Monday.

His death followed that of two other men who had lived in the same street as Mr Jones, and who were both found hanged within weeks of each other.

Since the beginning of 2007, 22 young people from the south Wales county have apparently taken their own lives.

Mr Jones died the same day as a funeral was held for 26-year-old Neil Owen who was also found hanged earlier this month.

In April, another near neighbour 19-year-old Sean Rees, was also found hanged.

Whatever the problem is, don't keep it to yourself
Bridgend Council statement

On Wednesday, Bridgend Local Service Board issued a statement saying it has organised additional services for the Bettws area including youth support, policing and street pastors.

The board will be meeting with local community leaders as it looks at what more can be done to help the community, the statement said.

South Wales Police said they were investigating the latest death in Bettws and that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death or the two others in the village.

A spokeswoman said: "Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the three young men from Bettws, Bridgend, who have died suddenly since April.

"Bettws is a small community where you would expect most people, especially those of a similar age, to know each other or know of each other.

Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Jones' death, like the others in Bettws, is not suspicious, say police

"It is clear that these three men had previously lived or were living in the same street at the time of their tragic deaths."

The force was investigating the circumstances surrounding all three deaths, which will be subject to coroner's hearings, the spokeswoman added.

The force also appealed to the media to report the deaths "sensitively to minimise the impact on family, friends and other vulnerable persons".

Their statement asked the media to give the local community "time and space to grieve."

Bridgend Council also outlined the many services on hand which are tailored towards helping people suffering from stress, depression or anxiety.

The authority said almost 1m has been earmarked for a project aimed at supporting people at risk from suicide in Bridgend and the neighbouring Neath Port Talbot area.

Mental health services

The scheme, Let's Talk - or Siaradwn Ni in Welsh - will establish a network of specially-trained people who will promote suicide prevention techniques in the community and across voluntary and statutory sector services.

An awareness-raising campaign will help recognise signs of mental distress to allow earlier intervention, the council statement said.

In their statement the council also appealed for more help from the general public.

"As only 25% of all people who take their own life have any contact with mental health services, the wider community also has a role to play in helping to recognising these concerns," the council statement said.

There are 18 youth drop-in centres throughout the county and the youth service has also launched workshops at local comprehensive schools.

The statement stressed: "Our message is simple: whatever the problem is, don't keep it to yourself.

"Sharing your concerns will help to put things in a different light, and is the first step towards finding a solution."


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