In England, one person dies every two hours as a result of suicide. When someone takes their own life, the effect on their family and friends is devastating. Many others involved in providing support and care will feel the impact.
There is a need to support action locally by bringing together knowledge about groups at higher risk of suicide, applying evidence of effective interventions and highlighting resources available. In response, a suicide prevention task group for North Yorkshire and York has been established. This group includes representation from North Yorkshire County Council, NHS, police, voluntary sector, district councils and Network Rail. The aim of the group is to develop a joint suicide prevention action plan.
The development of a local suicide action plan is recommended by government and supports the 2012 strategy 'Preventing suicide in England - a cross government outcomes strategy to save lives'. The plan aims to reduce the numbers of suicides in North Yorkshire and improve support to those bereaved or affected by suicide.
The strategy identifies six key areas for action:
- Reduce the risk of suicide in key high-risk groups;
- Tailor approaches to improve mental health in specific groups;
- Reduce access to the means of suicide;
- Provide better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide;
- Support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour; and
- Support research, data collection and monitoring.
Download the 'Preventing suicide in England - a cross government outcomes strategy to save lives document. Also see the 'Preventing suicide in England: one year on document for the first annual report on the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives.
Public Health England has published a new resource to assist local organisations to prevent linked suicides in their areas, often referred to as 'suicide clusters'.
You are not alone: help is at hand for anyone bereaved by suicide
People who have been bereaved by suicide have used their experiences to lead the revision of a support guide to help others affected by someone taking their own life.
'Help is at Hand' provides people affected by suicide with both emotional and practical support. The most recent official figures reveal 6,233 suicides of people aged 15 and over were registered in the UK in 2013 and suicide has far-reaching effects among friends, family, colleagues, and the wider community. Those bereaved by a suicide are at increased risk of mental health and emotional problems and may be at higher risk of suicide themselves, so receiving the right support is essential.
For the first time individuals who have been bereaved by suicide have been the principal authors of the guide, with support from experts at Public Health England and the National Suicide Prevention Alliance. By giving editorial control to individuals with experience of bereavement for the first time it is hoped the updated 'Help is at Hand' will provide more relevant and personal guidance to others in this traumatic situation.
You can talk to the Samaritans any time you like, in your own way, and off the record - about whatever's getting to you. You don't have to be suicidal.
Telephone 116123 or see the Samaritans website
You might find these self-help guides useful.