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.
Suicides are not inevitable. There are many ways in which services, communities, individuals and society as a whole can help to prevent them.
On World Suicide Prevention Day, Leader of the Council Julie Dore and Cabinet Member for Children and Families and Public Health Jackie Drayton have signed a statement reaffirming the council’s ongoing commitment to reducing suicide.
The statement pledges to continue working alongside partners and local communities to make Sheffield a city that supports people through the difficulties they face and at times of personal crisis.
It focuses on building individual and community resilience, creating the opportunity for conversations in our communities, schools, workplaces and social spaces that help break the silence and dispel stigma, increases training and awareness about suicide and mental health and takes action.
As well as launching a new web page, which has been put together with colleagues at the NHS and across the city for World Suicide Prevention, the statement builds on the Council’s Suicide Prevention Pathway for Children and Young People, its Suicide Prevention Action Plan and its Male Suicide Awareness Campaign, which launched last year.
The statement of commitment also pledges to increase training and awareness about suicide and mental health and takes action.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “As a local authority, we already have strategies and policies in place that support this ambition, including our Suicide Prevention Pathway for Children and Young People and our Suicide Prevention Action Plan, which were devised with our statutory and VCS partners.
“However we absolutely recognise there’s always more that can be done and no one organisation or individual acting alone can achieve this ambition. Preventing Suicide is everyone’s business and by working together we can make a difference.”
The new web page is hosted by NHS Sheffield at http://www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/Your-Health/preventing-suicide.htm as one of the key stakeholders on the Suicide Prevention Steering Group for the city. The web page is intended to host the local plan and provide some signposting to local and national support organisations, including the Sheffield Mental Health Guide.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children & Families and Public Health, added: “World Suicide Prevention Day gives us the opportunity to learn from each other, share good practice, listen to personal experiences and work together on thoughts and ideas for future work.
“Suicide is an important issue and we need to make space and support each other to talk about it and highlight that help is available across the city.
“Preventing suicide is everyone’s business and I truly believe that by working together we can make a difference.”
The training developed by Zero Suicide Alliance is available at www.zerosuicidealliance.com and can be accessed here.
In addition, Lord Mayor Magid Magid is hosting an event with Sheffield Flourish to raise awareness of suicide, with an event to be held this afternoon for more than 100 people.