Yorkshire and the Humber has the highest suicide rate in England with 12 suicides per 100,000 people*.

That is a startling figure.

That is 12 too many.

And the trend suggests it’s increasing year on year.

There’s not many topics we don’t talk about these days. But suicide is most definitely one of them! That is something The Check-In Campaign aims to tackle. It’s time this topic was no longer taboo!

We officially launch today – Time to Talk Day – let’s get talking!

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP) asked us to help address the issue of suicide to support more than 100,000 health, care, voluntary and community service colleagues working in organisations large and small across the area. Preventing suicide is one of WY&H HCP’s 10 big ambitions

So, we started by talking to people who have a direct experience of suicide including NHS services, councils, Healthwatch and community groups, like the Samaritans and Platform 1 in Huddersfield.

As a result of those conversations, we co-created the ‘Check-in’ campaign to help prevent staff suicide and promote a wellbeing culture by normalising the conversation around suicide and mental health.

For Magpie, every campaign starts with a conversation. Even if they’re really difficult ones. At the very heart of all that we do, is co-creation. We work with, talk to and listen to the people we’re trying to reach. We learn, understand, engage with and ultimately deliver meaningful campaigns that make a difference.

We’re delighted that over 160 organisations have already registered to get involved in the Check-in campaign

Open to all, you can join the campaign now at https://staffcheck-in.co.uk/ or find out more about this important work at staffcheck-in.co.uk/toolkit

The campaign also provides training, links to credible sources such as the Zero Suicide Alliance, and signposting to support in and out the workplace.

Rob Webster, CEO Lead for WY&H HCP said: “While people at risk of suicide may try to hide how they are feeling, they often give out warning signs, when at work. You might notice changes in their behaviour or be aware of events in their life that could be affecting them. Many of us may be unsure what to say, or how to approach the situation. By knowing what to look for, having the skills and confidence to have a conversation and provide support, you can make a huge difference to someone’s life. I’m urging everyone to get involved so they know the signs and how to respond by doing the online training provided at www.zerosuicidealliance.com

Here we share one of the stories from a person we spoke to about their lived experience of suicide and why it’s important to provide the opportunity to be open about the issue.

There is an element of vulnerability in every one of us. We are human and by our nature we will flux and change in our emotions as well as our health, both physical and mental.

For more information about the campaign please contact louise.hallworth@wearemagpie.com

*National figures published by the Office of National Statistics on 1 September 2020 based 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.