Plans which spread hope

Cllr Tim Swift

Progress on plans to improve the health and wellbeing of residents and reduce the risk of suicide will be heard by Cabinet members at their next meeting on Monday 13 November 2023.

Sadly Calderdale had a significantly higher rate of death by suicide than England and also the Yorkshire and Humber region between 2019 to 2021, when the most recent figures were published.

Each death by suicide is devastating for loved ones and the wider community, affecting up to an estimated 135 people. 

There is also a stigma around suicide which can have an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those touched by it.

To address this, the Council is working with partners including the NHS, voluntary sector and Police, to deliver the Calderdale Suicide Prevention Plan 2022-2024 which aims to reduce the number of suicides, help people recover from setbacks and share positive stories which bring a message of hope.

This in line with the Council’s priority to reduce inequalities and is a goal within Calderdale’s Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2027.

The Calderdale Suicide Prevention Plan was approved by the Health and Wellbeing Board in March 2022 and an action plan has been developed and is now being implemented. 

This will be updated to reflect recommendations within the national suicide prevention plan which was published in September 2023.

Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health said:

“The number of people taking their own lives in Calderdale and across West Yorkshire is of great concern and we are taking this very seriously. Suicide has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities but it can be prevented with the right support. 

“By working together with partners, our Suicide Prevention Plan is bringing change and hope to our communities. No one who is struggling should feel that they are on their own, Calderdale is noted for its kindness, and we are working to make sure help is always available.”

The plan includes actions to improve access to mental health services, particularly for those people who are considered to be at a higher risk and improve support for those who have been bereaved by suicide.

Keeping vulnerable people safe is another objective and Cabinet Members will be asked to note the establishment of a new project board to work on a business case to design and create physical barriers in high risk public places. 

The Council is exploring options for suicide prevention training for staff to improve their understanding of the risks and the impact of suicide on communities and individuals and help them provide the right support.

The partnership is also collecting and analysing data on suspected suicides to identify and seek to understand any emerging trends.

Local people are being encouraged to challenge the stigma of suicide and learn what they can do to help prevent it, by becoming a Suicide Prevention Champion.

The campaign is run by West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and urges everyone over 18 to sign up and pledge their support to reduce West Yorkshire’s above-average suicide rate.

To become a Suicide Prevention Champion, please sign up at link), watch a 20-minute suicide awareness video by the Zero Suicide Alliance, and make a pledge on how you plan to promote suicide prevention and challenge the stigma of suicide.

For details of the support available in Calderdale, please visit link)

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will meet to discuss progress on Calderdale’s Suicide Prevention Plan on Monday 13 November 2023 at Halifax Town Hall from 3pm.

The meeting can also be viewed online at link)

Calderdale’s Suicide Prevention Plan supports the Vision 2024 for Calderdale themes of kindness and resilience. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved with the debate on Twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at

This entry was posted in Health, Kindness, Mental health, Public Health. Bookmark the permalink.