Partnership working to reduce suicide

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 three 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.  

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 and has stated its aims in 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 most important part of this collaboration is the view that suicide can be prevented. It should no longer be seen as an inevitable outcome for people, but as something we can work together to successfully avoid. It is not a foregone conclusion for anybody and there is always the hope that things will improve.

Earlier this year the Partnership secured more than £1.5 m in funding from NHS England/NHS Improvement 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.

Our West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Suicide Prevention Advisory Network (SPAN) Annual Review 2019-2020 and Annual Plan 2020-2021 is now available. This report provides a review of the previous year’s developments (2019/2020) and outlines our proposed work plan for the coming year 2020/2021.