Take 40 seconds of action to prevent a suicide

Health commissioners in Kirklees are calling on local people to take 40 seconds of action this World Mental Health Day.

Every year close to 800,000 people globally take their own life, about one person, every 40 seconds.

Suicide is the biggest killer of people under the age of 35 and the biggest killer of men under the age of 50, tearing families apart and leaving a devastating, lasting impact on many people’s lives.

NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG and NHS North Kirklees CCG are supporting the World Health Organisation’s campaign encouraging people to start a 40 second conversation about how they are feeling.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “We know that many suicides are preventable. Starting a conversation with a family member, friend or colleague can make a huge difference to someone’s mental wellbeing. If you are worried about someone, or struggling yourself, please talk.”

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “You’re not expected to have answers, just listening can help. There are a number of organisations in Kirklees you can contact for support; if you’re looking for someone to talk to or a support group, Samaritans, Andys Man Club or Well-Bean Cafe. If you are struggling with low mood, stress or anxiety, contact the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. If you have any immediate concerns that you or someone you know is in need of urgent support you should always contact 999”.

Early this year the CCGs commissioned an out of hours ‘safe space’ crisis café in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, with voluntary and community sector providers. This is led by the mental health charity Touchstone. The Well-Bean cafe provides a safe space, one to one support and practical advice for people experiencing a mental health crisis as an alternative to going to hospital.

Around 40 members of staff to date, who work for the CCGs, have completed suicide prevention training, giving them the confidence to start a difficult conversation with loved ones, friends or colleagues.

Vicky Dutchburn, Head of Planning, Performance and Service Delivery for the CCGs said: “We think everyone should have some basic training on suicide awareness, just like CPR or first aid. We’re really pleased our workforce recognises that everyone can make a difference and so many have completed the training.”

People are being encouraged to share their advice for 40 seconds of action on World Mental Health Day, Thursday 10 October on social media using #40seconds and #WorldMentalHealthDay. 

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