Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust is working with organisations across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to adopt a ‘zero’ suicide approach, where every death by suicide is viewed as preventable.

The work supports the ambition of this year’s World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September) of ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.

The Trust, alongside other mental health providers, ambulance, police and fire services, councils, prison services and voluntary community organisations, are all working together to tackle suicide, aiming to reduce suicide by 10 per cent across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, and by 75 per cent across targeted areas.

Simon Long, Interim Deputy Director of Mental Health Acute and Community Services at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust is fully committed to suicide prevention.  Working as part of the wider West Yorkshire Mental Health Collaborative, with both public, voluntary and private sector organisations, we’re looking at new ways to create awareness and support for actions that prevent suicide.

“We recognise that it’s important that we create an environment where people feel able to talk openly about their mental health, without feeling that they might be judged, and  where everyone involved is working together to support people.”

The work is part of a wider plan developed by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership that aims to identify those that may be at risk earlier, by supporting mental health services, GPs, social workers, commissioners and community workers, to work better together.

The organisations are also looking at how technology can help by developing a suicide prevention phone app, and further developing care for children, young people and adults at risk of self-harm and suicide, whilst improving suicide bereavement services.

For those people who need urgent crisis care, the Care Trust’s First Response service offers support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to people of all ages living in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, who are experiencing a mental health crisis.  People can call 01274 221181 and talk to a telecoach who quickly assesses their needs, including urgent support.

This may include a First Responder, who are mental health nurses and social workers, who visit people wherever they are in their time of crisis, sometimes with a member of the emergency services. Or the service may refer people to one of three community-based safer spaces for people of any age experiencing mental health crisis,  that offer a warm, calm and safe environment, 365 days a year, as an alternative to A&E.