HEALTH and community workers across the Bradford district are aiming to reduce the number of preventable deaths in the area as part of World Suicide Prevention Day.

Around forty people die each year through suicide in Bradford and the work is aiming to raise awareness of the issue and services in the area.

Organisations like Bradford Council, MIND, the Samaritans, The Cellar Trust, Bradford District Care trust, the NHS hospitals trusts and CCGs are taking part in a range of activities.

This includes dedicated training sessions on how to help anyone at risk for GPs, West Yorkshire Police and voluntary and community organisations.

Suicide is preventable and it is not an inevitable act: the vast majority of people who do have thoughts about taking their life are able to find help and support, and go on to happier, mentally healthier lives.

Events taking place today include:

• Mind in Bradford: A memorial event is taking place for those who have lost friends or family.

• Mind in Bradford’s Twitter Hour – 1-2pm - mental health practitioners will be on hand to answer any questions about suicide prevention.

• Information stalls in the Broadway shopping centre: run by a variety of organisations, including the Samaritans, CGL drug and alcohol service and Mind in Bradford.

• Suicide Prevention Conference – for organisations in the district to share messages on how to self-care.

• Running a health awareness campaign on suicide risk awareness. BDCT Linfield Mount

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership are also launching their suicide prevent strategy for the area in Halifax and Andy’s Man Club are travelling across the area in their bus over the next few weeks, including Bradford, to encourage people to talk about the issue.

If someone does experience suicidal thoughts, they should contact their GP for a conversation about how they can be best supported.

If they feel they are in a crisis, Bradford’s First Response service offers support for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis across the district: 01274 221181. They can also get support from the Samaritans online or by calling 116 123 on any type of phone, a free and totally confidential service.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council's executive member for healthy people and places, said: “Sadly, in Bradford District 40 people a year die by suicide. This year World Suicide Prevention Day is about engaging with each other to spread awareness of suicide prevention.

“In Bradford District we take this commitment seriously. Voluntary and community sector organisations, the police, the NHS and Local Authority meet regularly to plan activities that reduce suicide risk.

“These cover such things as training in talking about suicide to support people in crisis, understanding and acting on local risk factors such as self-harm and supporting people bereaved by suicide. Ultimately, we believe in a zero-suicide approach, that no-one should die alone and in despair."

Dr Brendan Kennedy, a local GP with a special interest in mental health, encourages anyone who is feeling suicidal to ask for help.

He said: “There’s lots of help available for people living in Bradford district and Craven, including from their GP surgery, the First Response Service, and from the safe spaces provided by our excellent voluntary and community services.

“If you are feeling down, seek help early to help improve your mood and prevent further deterioration in your wellbeing. And if you are worried about someone else, ask them how they are feeling and encourage them to seek help – you could save a life.”