Latest Leeds suicide study highlights need for prevention
The regular Leeds audit of suicide in the city is being published today, 10th September, World Suicide Prevention Day.
The highly regarded study is used to inform citywide suicide prevention work, helping target support and investment where it is most needed.
Considered a 'gold standard' and recommended by Public Health England as a model to learn from, the latest report echoes finding from previous years, indicating that those most at risk of dying through suicide are middle-aged men, who form around one in five of those taking their own life.
Last year saw Leeds City Council's leader, Councillor Judith Blake, commit funding to suicide prevention, particularly for support work with men in areas of the city with higher rates of suicide the main beneficiaries.
Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
"Suicide prevention continues to be a priority in Leeds, with every death a tragedy. Work done across the city by NHS and council employees, excellent third sector organisations and a whole range of individuals is making a difference. Stigma around mental health, depression and stress is being tackled, opening doors for people to talk about how they feel and seek help when they need it.
"As with the rest of the UK, suicide is one of the biggest causes of death affecting men under 50. Every death is a tragedy and I believe suicide is not inevitable. We all have a role we can play to help save the lives of those with suicidal thoughts."
Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council Director of Public Health, said:
"Providing evidence-based preventative interventions is at the heart of public health, saving lives and reducing ill-health. This audit allows us to make interventions and offer support where it is most needed.
"We also know there people at risk of suicide who don't fit the typical profile, and so we want everyone to be more aware that suicide is preventable and there is a wide range of support available."
Anyone wanting advice can contact:
Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90
Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service: 0113 260 9328.
Details of many services which can help are on a free poster available to download at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/CrisisCard.pdf