World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) takes place on 10 September every year, hosted by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In England, nearly 100 people die each week as a result of suicide and the
National figures published by the Office of National Statistics on 1 September 2020 show that Yorkshire and the Humber region had the highest suicide rate in England at 12 suicides per 100,00 population over a 3-year period between 2017 and 2019. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, there has been an increase from 10.6 per 100,000 between 2016-18 to 11.88 between 2017 and 2019.
West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) has identified 10 big ambitions, in the Partnership’s Five Year Plan and the Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Five Year Plan.
The main aim of the WY&H HCP Suicide Prevention Strategy is to develop working relationships with partner agencies to provide an evidence based, practical framework for suicide prevention across the area to reduce suicide. This supports and complements the work taking place in the six local places (Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield).
The Partnership has been working hard to reduce suicide and the devastating impact on families, carers and friends across West Yorkshire and Harrogate since 2016/17.
Last winter a Leeds based suicide bereavement support service was rolled out by WY&H HCP thanks to £173,000 from NHS England/NHS Improvement to enhance suicide bereavement support services across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
£114,000 of NHS England/NHS Improvement funding was also allocated to allow support workers with lived experience to provide advice, training and support for up to 600 men in the area. The Partnership works with voluntary organisations like State of Mind and Luke’s Lads to help.
WY&H HCP also secured over £1.5 million pounds of funding from NHS England/NHS Improvement earlier this year to reduce the numbers of suicide across the area over the next three years.
The funds will focus on two key areas:
- Prevention beyond secondary services, for example place-based community prevention work targeting middle-aged men, self-harm and primary care support
- Reduction within services via quality improvement for example self-harm care within acute hospitals and within mental health service
The additional funds will be a huge help in reaching the ambitions of WY&H HCP which is all about saving people’s lives.
Work has also begun on the Partnership’s staff suicide prevention campaign, which will launch in November for three months with the aim of educating, raising awareness, and inspiring peer-to-peer support and most importantly, helping to save more lives.
At the same time, a new collaborative project ‘Great Minds’ with State of Mind Sport will see partner teams deliver workshops with men at risk of suicide and serious self-harm. You can find out more about the Great Minds project in this video.
Rob Webster, CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust and CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, said:
“It’s really important that we all do what we can to support people who may be feeling hopeless or helpless, especially in these worrying times. World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity to do this as it aims to inspire people to challenge their beliefs about mental illness and to be more open in their attitudes and behaviour.
We know opening up about mental health is not always easy. As someone who has been personally affected by suicide, I understand the impact not just on the person, but also the devastating affect on family and friends left behind. I know we can reduce the impact by joining forces and working together with West Yorkshire and Harrogate communities’.
Dr Michael Doyle, Deputy Director of Nursing and Quality, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and WY&H HCP lead for suicide prevention said:
‘Suicide results from multiple risk factors including experiences of trauma and loss. We know that inequalities compound the risk of suicide among disadvantaged groups and we are taking a multi-agency approach to addressing the root causes while providing help and support for people who are at risk of suicide and serious self-harm.
Suicide has a huge impact, with 135 people affected by each death due to suicide. This equates to 108 million people bereaved by suicide worldwide every year, putting relatives and close friends of people who die by suicide at high risk of suicide themselves. The gains to be made from reducing these heart-breaking and unnecessary deaths are great, and we are determined to do all that we can to save lives’.
You can read more about WY&H HCP suicide prevention work at www.wyhpartnership and follow twitter on 10 September @WYHpartnership.
Further organisations that can provide support:
- Papyrus provides confidential support and advice to young people and provide a safe space to talk through anything happening in your life. Ring the HOPELINE 0800 068 41 41 or visit https://papyrus-uk.org
- Time to Change is a growing movement of people changing how we all think and act about mental health problems. Visit https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/
- Zero Suicide Alliance ‘Save a life’ training course online – it only takes 20 minutes and could save someone’s life. Visit https://www.zerosuicidealliance.com/get-involved/
- To talk to someone about how you’re feeling, call the 24-hour mental health helpline on 0800 183 0558.
- West Yorkshire and Harrogate suicide bereavement helpline 0113 305 5800 wyhsbs.org.uk.