Dr Jeanette Turley, Clinical Lead for Mental Health and Learning Disability for NHS Leeds West CCG, said:
“Suicide is a terrible waste of a life and it also has a devastating effect on the friends and families involved. We want people to understand that whatever the problems they are having to deal with, there is always an alternative way of escaping from their distress. We hope that by giving GPs the ability to spot warning signs, then those at risk can be identified earlier and given the support that they need.”
Leeds City Council’s Public Health team have already coordinated a range of activity to reduce suicide rates, including community development work with men in the high risk group within LS12, led by BARCA. The men reported that ‘having someone to talk to’ has often saved them from acting on their suicidal thoughts. In addition NHS Leeds West CCG has funded BARCA to provide more ‘Positive Communication’ sessions in West Leeds to help both men and women who are at risk of depression and suicide.
Barry*, who has used BARCA’s men’s group, said:
“If you don’t have someone to talk to – well it’s like walking around with a pocket full of dynamite – that could just go off at any time”
Neruka White, who runs Neruka’s Soul Food Soup Kitchen, said:
“I attended the SafeTALK training as I meet a lot of people who are at crisis point in my work. It has really helped me to build my confidence in recognising the signs of someone at risk of suicide and offering support. Anyone can help someone thinking about suicide and I would encourage others to take part in the training”