A new service to support people bereaved or affected by suicide goes live on Monday (2 December) across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The service is a response to the fact that people bereaved by suicide are more likely to suffer from severe depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, or even adopt suicidal behaviours themselves.
The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Suicide Bereavement Service will provide support through one to one peer support, peer support groups and advocacy.
The new service, an extension of the Leeds Suicide Bereavement Service, is central to West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership’s plan to improve bereavement support, while it works to reduce the numbers of suicides too.
Support on offer, which will enhance suicide bereavement support services across the region, will include practical advice and signposting to other much needed services, for example counselling or financial advice.
A number of workshops are running throughout December and are open to all, irrespective of a coroner’s conclusion. People will be able to self-refer to the service or be referred by other people such as funeral directors, police, coroners, or NHS staff across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
Additional support will also be available to staff affected by suicide in the course of their duties; for example health, social care or emergency service staff. Help will also be available to people who have been bereaved historically yet feel they may benefit from peer led support.
Yorkshire and Humber has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership is driving a collaborative approach to reduce suicide and improve services. It is working towards reducing suicide by 10% across the region and by 75% in targeted areas.
Referrals can be made by visiting www.wyhsbs.org.uk or by calling 0113 305 5800. Practitioners will be based in Bradford, Harrogate, Huddersfield and Leeds but meeting locations will be flexible. Support groups will begin in December .
Rob Webster, CEO Lead for West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership and CEO for South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: ‘As someone personally affected by suicide, I understand the impact it can have on individuals, families and other people too. This service will provide essential help to those facing one of the hardest issues to face. This is something that I hope becomes less needed as we reduce suicides through our other work to help more people’.