Progress on initiatives to enhance the health and well-being of residents and mitigate the risk of suicide will be addressed by Cabinet members during their forthcoming meeting on Monday, 13th November 2023.
Regrettably, Calderdale experienced a notably higher incidence of suicide-related deaths compared to both England and the Yorkshire and Humber region from 2019 to 2021, according to the most recent published data.
Each instance of suicide inflicts profound pain on loved ones and the wider community, impacting an estimated 135 individuals.
Moreover, there exists a stigma surrounding suicide that can adversely affect the mental health and well-being of those touched by it.
In response to this, the Council is collaborating with partners including the NHS, the voluntary sector, and the Police, to implement the Calderdale Suicide Prevention Plan 2022-2024. This initiative aims to diminish the incidence of suicides, aid individuals in their recovery from setbacks, and share positive narratives that convey a message of hope.
This aligns with the Council’s commitment to reducing disparities and constitutes an objective within Calderdale’s Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2027.
The Calderdale Suicide Prevention Plan received approval from the Health and Wellbeing Board in March 2022, and an action plan has since been formulated and is presently being put into practice.
This plan will be revised to incorporate recommendations outlined in the national suicide prevention plan, published in September 2023.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health said; “The number of people taking their own lives in Calderdale and across West Yorkshire is of great concern and we are taking this very seriously. Suicide has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities but it can be prevented with the right support.
“By working together with partners, our Suicide Prevention Plan is bringing change and hope to our communities. No one who is struggling should feel that they are on their own, Calderdale is noted for its kindness, and we are working to make sure help is always available.”
The plan encompasses measures to enhance access to mental health services, particularly for those deemed to be at heightened risk and to enhance support for those who have suffered the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Safeguarding vulnerable individuals constitutes another objective. Cabinet Members will be asked to take note of the establishment of a new project board tasked with developing a business case to design and implement physical barriers in high-risk public locations.
The Council is exploring options for staff training in suicide prevention to deepen their understanding of the risks and the ramifications of suicide on communities and individuals, enabling them to offer appropriate support.
The partnership is also gathering and analysing data on suspected suicides to pinpoint and comprehend any emerging patterns.
Local residents are encouraged to challenge the stigma associated with suicide and to learn how they can contribute to its prevention by becoming a Suicide Prevention Champion.
This campaign is conducted by the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and urges all individuals over the age of 18 to register and pledge their support in lowering West Yorkshire’s above-average suicide rate.
To become a Suicide Prevention Champion, please register at https://suicidepreventionwestyorkshire.co.uk/becomeachampion, view a 20-minute suicide awareness video by the Zero Suicide Alliance, and make a commitment regarding how you intend to promote suicide prevention and combat the stigma surrounding suicide.
For information on available support in Calderdale, please visit https://suicidepreventionwestyorkshire.co.uk/support-your-area/calderdale.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will convene to discuss progress on the Calderdale Suicide Prevention Plan on Monday, 13th November 2023, at Halifax Town Hall, commencing at 3pm.