Suicide is a tragedy that has devastating and widespread effects. It is a preventable cause of early death.
Suicide prevention is a national area of importance and local councils in England are encouraged to take a proactive role in this agenda.
Read ‘10 things everyone needs to know about suicide prevention’ (From: Local suicide prevention planning: A practice resource - Public Health England, October 2016) for further information.
Suicide prevention is a priority for Leeds. A citywide multi-agency strategic suicide prevention group is led by Leeds City Council Public Health. Reporting of suicides (in the form of suicide audits) is carried out in Leeds every three years.
‘The Leeds Approach’ is an infographic that shows the Leeds approach to suicide prevention in the city.
The local work done in Leeds as part of the suicide prevention agenda is nationally recognised. The Local Government Association suicide prevention guidelines used the Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service as a best practice case study.
Leeds Suicide Audit and Leeds Suicide Prevention Action Plan
The Leeds Suicide Audit is nationally recognised as best practice and is recommended by Public Health England. The audit contains detailed findings about suicides in Leeds. This information then informs the Leeds Suicide Prevention Action plan and the development of local interventions that can be effectively targeted towards high-risk groups.
The Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service is an innovative ‘postvention’ service. It supports people who have been affected by the death of someone by suicide, at any time in their lives, through gateway sessions, individual and group support, and counselling.
Supporting communities and men at risk
There are a range of local projects that focus on men, in areas of the city with higher rates of suicide. Some of these include:
Specialised and accredited suicide training is available for frontline council and health staff, as well as other volunteers, residents, and workers in the city.
- SafeTALK – 3 hour suicide awareness training for people living and working in Leeds. Free places are available to those who meet bursary criteria
- ASIST – 2 day suicide intervention skills training. Places at a reduced price are available for those who meet bursary criteria
National media guidelines were co-produced by the National Union of Journalists and Leeds City Council. These encourage local journalists to report suicide sensitively and help to reduce the stigma of suicide.
Resources have been produced to encourage people who are feeling low, distressed or suicidal to seek help from local support services:
To find out more, contact the Public Health Resource Centre.