Published on: Monday 8th February 2021

Cancer Alliance Backs Check In Staff Suicide Prevention Initiative Across West Yorkshire and Harrogate

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance is backing an innovative staff suicide prevention campaign targeted at more than 100,000 health, care, voluntary and community service colleagues working in organisations large and small across the area. 

Launched in early February by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, as part of Time To Talk Day 2021, the campaign aims to get people in the workplace talking about mental health to prevent the risk of suicide. More than 150 organisations have already registered to get involved and have committed to making a difference.

It's time to talk about mental wellbeingPreventing suicide in targeted areas by 2022 is one of    the Partnership's 10 big ambitions. National figures published by the Office of National Statistics on 1 September 2020 show that Yorkshire and the Humber region had the highest suicide rate in England at 12 suicides per 100,000 population over a three year period between 2017 and 2019. In West Yorkshire and Harrogate, there was an increase from 10.6 per 100,000 between 2016-18 to 11.9 between 2017 and 2019. 

Rachel Moser
Rachel Moser
Cancer Workforce Lead, West Yorkshire and Harrogate
"For everyone working in the NHS, irrespective of the job they do, providing the best possible care for our patients is their ultimate aim - and quite rightly so. We can only do that, however, if we look after our own mental and physical wellbeing, and this can often be forgotten - especially when the emphasis is getting the job done at a specific point in time. At times of severe workload pressures, or when the environment is challenging for other reasons, the importance of self care, and looking out for our colleagues, can disappear off the radar - sometimes with the saddest of consequences. We're backing this campaign across West Yorkshire and Harrogate to promote awareness of how important it is to look after ourselves and to check in on each other, and to provide the support and resources to enable everyone to do that."

The Partnership has secured funding from NHS England/NHS Improvement to the end of March 2022 of more than £1million to develop and maintain a Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub for all staff working in health and care services in West Yorkshire and Harrogate. The campaign will link to this important support.

The Partnership’s 'Check-in' campaign' aims to prevent staff suicide and promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide and mental health as well as providing training, including links to credible sources such as the Zero Suicide Alliance, and signposting to support in and out the workplace.  

Co-produced with people who have direct experience of suicide, the campaign has been created by staff coming together from NHS services, councils, Healthwatch and community groups, including the Samaritans and Platform 1 in Huddersfield. 

The campaign is open to all. Join the campaign now here, or find out more about this important work through the staff 'Check-in' campaign toolkit including links to video training resources.