In the second article of our series on male suicide we look at the statutory services’ response
Suicide is a devastating event, that has wide implications for the families, friends, and all associated with the victim.
Whether it be male or female, young or old, for those left behind there is a very complicated grieving process and for those lost a sense of a life cut short.
The West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, which includes Leeds City Council and the NHS, has a Suicide Prevention Programme which has been carrying out intensive work and aims to reduce the suicide rate by 10% before 2027.
Recent measures include rolling out a targeted training programme to workforces across health, care and beyond, including frontline workers such as in job centres and GP practices, which will equip thousands with the skills to save a life.
The Partnership’s ongoing ‘Check In With Your Mate’ suicide prevention campaign, launched in May 2021, aims to normalise conversations around suicide and mental health, particularly among young men.
Developed by and featuring local men, from their experiences, it includes downloadable graphics and posters to help spread the word, with messages including: ‘Is your sporty mate suddenly off his game?’, ‘Does your mate always want to have one too many?’ and ‘Has the mate who’s always got something to say gone quiet?
You can download free resources and join the campaign at staffcheck-in.co.uk/campaign-toolkit/males
Other initiatives include the Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service, which offers support to individuals, families or work places. The service provides 1:1, peer groups, family support and counselling. Whether you were affected by a suicide that was a few days, weeks or decades ago. They can support you whoever you have lost – this may be a parent, child, partner, sibling, other relative, friend or work colleague.
You can use the service if you believe someone you care about has ended their own life, even if this has not been officially recognised or you haven’t had an inquest. They also support people who feel affected by a suicide but do not identify as bereaved, for example if you witnessed a death. Leeds City Council commissions Leeds MIND to provide the service. Go to www.leedsmind.org.uk or call (0113) 305 5800.
Suicide Prevention Training is being targeted at workforces where those with higher risk factors are employed. In addition, Mindwell is the mental health website for people in Leeds where you can find out about support and services in Leeds, understand common mental health problems and understand how to take care of your wellbeing. The website, mindwell-leeds.org.uk, also includes support for professionals and a list of training opportunities including free online suicide prevention training.
Free, 20-minute online suicide prevention training is also available to all at the Zero Suicide Alliance, to gain skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide. Go to: www.zerosuicidealliance.com/training
Grants are available to third sector organisations to; support empowerment and engagement with local people; build capacity and help emerging groups develop; support innovative ways of connecting with those who may be socially isolated; and address stigma, discrimination and loneliness. Apply to Leeds Community Foundation leedcf.org.uk
When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.
Read A Silent Emergency
Read Male suicide: two South Leeds stories we spoke to two women, one who’s partner took his life and a mother who’s son has suicidal thoughts
Read A safe space for men to talk and listen we spoke to one of the facilitators at ANDYSMANCLUB
Read Pathways for positivity: The man behind the smile suicide prevention advice
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