West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) have once again pledged their support to World Suicide Prevention Day 2022 and urged anyone who is struggling with their mental health to reach out for help.
The theme for this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day – spearheaded by the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) – is ‘creating hope through action,’ aiming to raise awareness around the globe that suicide can be prevented.
Suicide prevention is one of the ten ambitions of WY HCP with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that the area has higher suicide rates than England as whole.
The latest figures released this week for 2021*, also show the three-year rolling rates have risen in all areas of West Yorkshire, except for Kirklees, compared to those three-year rates released in 2020.
In Leeds, suicide rates have risen from 13.3 to 13.9 per 100,000 people, in Wakefield from 16.2 to 17.3, in Calderdale from 15.6 to 16.9 and in Bradford from 9.2 to 9.8.
West Yorkshire also saw a rise from 12.6 per 100,000 people to 13.2 – compared to the England average, which has remained the same, at 10.4 per 100,000 people.
The suicide rate for Kirklees fell from 11.8 to 11.2 per 100,000 people.
[NB It’s helpful to note that the registrations of deaths with coroners are up to end of 2021 and this may not be reflective of the current position now.]
Rob Webster CBE, CEO Lead for WY HCP said: “It’s clear that periods of recession and financial distress increase the chances of suicide in our population.
“We can prevent this from becoming a reality.
“Knowing the signs and being able to have the conversation with someone is a skill that we can all develop.
“This Suicide Prevention Day I’m urging everyone to take the free 20-minute training provided at www.zerosuicidealliance.com – you might just save a life.”
Jess Parker, project manager for WY HCP’s Suicide Prevention Programme said: “These figures show that on average, over the last three years to 2021, there have been rises in suicide rates across West Yorkshire, except for Kirklees.
“With the economic pressures faced by people and communities, the risk of suicide may increase going forward.
“We know that households are struggling with financial worries at the moment, so we want them to be aware of the support that is available and to reach out if they feel they need it.
“Feeling suicidal is something that we don’t want anyone to go through alone. We realise that many factors can be at play, like relationship breakdown, bereavement, financial difficulties, addiction and ill-health.”
The WY HCP Suicide Prevention website brings together the broad range of support on offer across all areas of West Yorkshire for anyone struggling with their mental health or in a crisis – including for gambling issues and self-harm, young people, LGBTQ+, parents, veterans, and bereavement.
It is also a hub of information on suicide prevention including latest news and blogs, resources for professionals and the training available to all, including that offered by Zero Suicide Alliance.
Jess added: “We all need to be aware of the risk of suicide – residents, employers, colleagues, workers across the public sector – take the training and you could potentially help save a life.
“To all those struggling, know that support is out there and reach out – there are people ready and waiting to help.”
WY HCP’s Suicide Prevention Programme has been carrying out intensive work – based on its five-year strategy launched earlier this year – towards an ambition of reducing the suicide rate by ten per cent before 2027.
Recent measures include recruiting people with personal experience of suicide into a project to help shape future prevention work, improvements to the sharing of real-time information on suspected suicides across West Yorkshire and securing funding to invest in suicide prevention training for frontline workers.
For the full range of suicide prevention support and resources available in West Yorkshire visit www.suicidepreventionwestyorkshire.co.uk.