Suicide Prevention

Partnership encourages all to check in with their mates to prevent suicide

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West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is launching a new campaign on Monday 16 May to create awareness around male suicide across the area and is urging everyone to get involved.

The campaign, which builds on the Partnership’s national award-winning staff suicide prevention campaign ‘Check-In’, aims to promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide and mental health as well as providing communication assets, links to credible sources such as the life-saving Zero Suicide Alliance training, and signposting to local support.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the risk factors that may lead to suicide, inspiring people to start conversations about mental health with the men in their life at home, in the community and at work. It sets out practical help we can all give when checking-in. Messages include:

  • Is your sporty mate suddenly off his game?
  • Does your mate always want to have one to many?
  • Does your mate get down when he can’t see his kids grow up?
  • Has your mate left service but he’s still fighting?

 

 

Developed with local men and built from their experiences, the resources can be used publicly in various places – in person and virtually,  such as What’s App groups, on Facebook and Instagram, in workplaces, community groups and elsewhere at staffcheck-in.co.uk/campaign-toolkit/males/  from Monday 16 May.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that suicide is more common in West Yorkshire than in England as a whole, with significantly more men taking their own lives than women. The ONS data shows that there were 235 deaths registered by coroners as suicides in West Yorkshire in 2020, with an average of 4.5 people per week.

This priority area of work is one of WY HCP’s ten ambitions set out in their five-year plan.

Jessica Parker, Project Manager for WY HCP Suicide Prevention programme, believes the campaign will play an important role in the conversation surrounding suicide, and could potentially save lives.

Jess said: ‘I’m urging everyone to get involved in this life-saving campaign and would encourage everyone to check in with the men in their lives to ask if they are ok.  WYH HCP Suicide Prevention Strategy has developed strong momentum around making suicide prevention everyone’s business. We all have a part to play in combatting stigma and identifying men in our lives who are going through struggles and ask them if they need help’.

Surinder Rall, Service Lead for West Yorkshire Suicide Bereavement Service, says it is essential that we all know the warning signs of suicide. ‘I lost both my father and my uncle to suicide. So, I speak from experience when I say that we should all work together to combat the stigma and talk more about suicide. To achieve our target of zero suicides in West Yorkshire, we must continue to talk and ask each other about mental health and suicide. That’s what the Check-In campaign is all about’.

Rob Webster CBE, CEO for WY&H HCP said: ‘While people at risk of suicide may try to hide how they are feeling, they often give out warning signs. You might notice changes in their behaviour or be aware of events in their life that could be affecting them. By knowing what to look for, having the skills and confidence to have a conversation and provide support, you can make a huge difference to someone’s life, and their family. I’m urging everyone to get involved so they know the signs and how to respond. You can also start straight away by doing the online training provided at www.zerosuicidealliance.com

All partners in West Yorkshire – health, care, voluntary sector and beyond, are encouraged to download the free resource, such as posters, social media messages and films to use in their organisation, place of work, teams or at home among friends, family, and community.  All are available at staffcheck-in.co.uk/campaign-toolkit/males/ from Monday the 16 May.

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership publishes new five-year strategy for suicide prevention

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West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership has published a Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan for 2022-2027.

The Strategy aims to make suicide prevention everyone’s business and is based on a long-term vision for zero suicides in West Yorkshire.

Key takeaways from the Strategy:

  • Every death is one death too many. A ‘zero suicide’ philosophy underpins the strategy.
  • West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership aims to achieve a minimum 10% reduction in the suicide rate across West Yorkshire over the next five years.
  • Grief and loss, money worries, alcohol, relationship breakdown and mental health problems are significant factors that may cause someone to take their own life.
  • More men than women die by suicide.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that suicide is more common in West Yorkshire than in England as a whole.

In order to bring suicide rates down and reduce preventable death, the Strategy aims to make sure everyone plays a part. This includes citizens, voluntary and community sector organisations, the NHS, local authorities, employers, emergency services, and others.

 Nichola Sanderson, one of three Senior Responsible Officers for suicide prevention in West Yorkshire, and the Deputy Director of Nursing at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

“My experience as a mental health nurse has given me the privilege of working with people and their families at the most distressing and vulnerable times. I believe that with the right help and support, all death by suicide can become a thing of the past.”

 Kim Shutler, SRO and the Chief Executive Officer at The Cellar Trust in Shipley said:

“Suicide prevention in a post-pandemic climate will require us all to dig deep and pull together to do everything we can. We also need to work hard to raise the profile of this work. Suicide prevention is everyone’s business. It isn’t just in the domain of mental health services. I encourage everyone reading this to take a pause to think what their role could or should be.”

Events Around World Suicide Prevention Day 2018

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World Suicide Prevention Day takes place on Monday 10 September. Calderdale Suicide Prevention Group aims to have a Calderdale wide approach to suicide prevention. The work over the past 12 months clearly fits with the global theme set by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP).
In Calderdale this will be the 2nd WSPD campaign and following the successful campaign last year it is intended to replicate the approach.

The Calderdale approach is to wear an item of clothing ‘Inside Out’.

Inside out encourages people to talk – never underestimate the power of a conversation, you have the power to save a life. There is always a way.

There are a number of resources that you can download to help to raise awareness and learn more about how you can make a difference with a half day training course on Friday 5 October, 10:00am-1:30pm at Halifax Fire Station.

Organising events around World Suicide Prevention Day.

Poster advertising Suicide Awareness Training Wednesday 12 September.

Poster advertising safeTALK training Friday 5 October.

Andy’s Man Club also has regular meetings throughout Calderdale and at many other places in the UK.

 

‘What Remains’ – Film Screening as Part of World Suicide Prevention Day

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Screened as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Monday 10 September, 4:30pm at Square Chapel Arts Centre there will be a FREE film screening of ‘What Remains’.

After the death of her husband by suicide Gillian Brooks tried to make sense of the events and preserve memories for her children. So she wrote it down as a story. Now her words have inspired a film made by Gillian and her family with the help of filmmaker Geoff Brokate.

What is World Suicide Prevention day?
World Suicide Prevention Day is held each year on 10 September. It’s an annual awareness raising event organised by International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The 2017 theme was about connecting with others and letting people know that #ITSOKAYTOTALK.

Why is it important?
More than 800,000 people take their lives each year across the world. In the UK and ROI, more than 6,000 people die by suicide a year – an average of 18 a day.

Reaching out to people who are going through a difficult time can be a game changer. People who are feeling low or suicidal often feel worthless and think that no-one cares. Small things like hearing from friends or family, feeling listened to or just being told that ‘it’s ok to talk’ can make a huge difference.

What you can do
Start a conversation today if you think a friend, colleague or family member may be struggling. When a person reaches a point where they are focused on taking their life, they’ve often lost sight of trying to find a way through their problems. This period usually only lasts a short while and often it doesn’t take a huge amount to bring someone back from that decision – something as simple as saying, ‘it’s ok to talk’ can be enough to move someone out of suicidal crisis.

How can people reach out?
It can be daunting to approach someone who is struggling to cope; you may not know what to say, how to start a difficult conversation or worry that you’ll make things worse. However, you don’t need to be an expert. Often, just asking if someone’s OK and letting them know you’re listening can give people the confidence to open up about how they’re feeling.

Tickets are FREE but places are limited so please book in advance on the Square Chapel Arts Centre website.

With thanks to Calderdale Council and Verd De Gris.