Funding boost for suicide prevention work in Wakefield

Funding has been secured from NHS England/NHS Improvement to reduce the numbers of suicide over the next three years.

An image of Wakefield Cathedral

Funding has been secured from NHS England/NHS Improvement to reduce the numbers of suicide over the next three years.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) has secured over £1.5 million pounds of funding from NHS England/NHS Improvement to reduce the numbers of suicide across the WY&H HCP area over the next three years.

The funds will focus on two key areas:

1.       Prevention beyond secondary services, for example place-based community prevention work targeting middle-aged men, self-harm and primary care support

2.       Reduction within services via quality improvement for example self-harm care within acute hospitals and within mental health services

WY&H HCP will address these challenges in various ways, including:

  • Advancing work on real time surveillance, including ethnicity data to see if groups of people are more at risk than others; and enabling WY&H HCP to respond to suspected deaths by suicide quickly and effectively, and offering support to people sadly bereaved by suicide through increased learning alongside partners such as the Police and public health.
  • Expanding suicide prevention training and self-harm awareness through train the trainer programmes, with WY&H HCP making training available to a wider variety of organisations to reach their ambition to build Suicide Safer Communities.
  • Improving understanding of self-harm across our primary and secondary care, including GP practices and hospitals, whilst targeting training on self-harm to increase understanding on people’s experiences to further inform prevention work.                                                                                                       

The majority of funding will be allocated to local place based work in Bradford district and Craven; Calderdale, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield in partnership with public health colleagues. Various suicide prevention projects will take place, such as:

  • Small grants schemes for grassroots projects working on suicide prevention and self-harm support services
  • Targeted work with men in some of our region’s biggest employers, taking suicide prevention work to the workplace to change working cultures and save lives
  • Increased resources in local areas to help people find the support they need, when they need it through targeted campaigns, crisis cards and more
  • Targeted awareness work with specialist organisations that are best placed to help those most in need of support
  • Work on self-harm in local areas to best understand people’s experiences, their support needs and opportunities for further prevention work.

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 postvention 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. The project has supported almost 100 people to date and funds have been secured for the second year to continue this valuable work. 

£114,000 of NHS England/NHS Improvement funding was also allocated to employ Pathfinder Development Workers to work with voluntary organisations, helping men across the area to get the support they need. They work with partners from State of Mind Sport with lived experience to provide advice, training and support for up to 600 men in the area. 

Rob Webster, CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust and CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate (WY&H) Health and Care Partnership, said: ‘Our continued ambition is to reduce suicide, to keep people safe from harm. We are working hard to mitigate risk factors throughout our communities. This money helps us to do just that. We can all doing something to help by taking part in the free Zero Suicide Alliance Training. You never know it could save someone’s life’. 

Sara Munro, CEO, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, and CEO Lead for WY&H HCP Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Programme, said:

‘The impact of suicide on families, friends, care givers and colleagues cannot be underestimated, the ripple effects are devastating.  We are delighted to have been successful in securing this funding and to be able to provide much needed support to people across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. It’s a testament to fantastic partnership working and we are eager to start providing support to people at such difficult times’ – whilst giving their loved ones, carers and families reassurance that we are here to help’.