To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, our Touchstone colleague Laura has shared some key information on suicide in West Yorkshire and how to get support for anyone struggling with their mental health.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that suicide is more common in West Yorkshire than in England as a whole: 235 deaths registered by coroners as suicides in West Yorkshire in 2020, with an average of 4.5 people per week.

Anyone can feel low, alone and even suicidal. It’s important that we all work together to raise awareness of suicide in our communities and make sure there is support in place that everyone can access at times of need.

The stats show that significantly more men are taking their own lives than women, with over 75% of suicides in West Yorkshire are men. In response to this distressing reality, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership launched a campaign in 2022 to raise awareness around male suicide across West Yorkshire. Check in with Your Mate campaign encourages men in particular to recognise changes in our friends’ behaviour and check in with each other. This website also includes stories from men who have struggled with their mental health and valued support from their friends.

We all have a part to play in combating stigma and supporting those in our lives who are going through struggles. You can start taking action straight away by doing the online Suicide Awareness training provided at Zero Suicide Alliance.

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership have also funded a new project called Men in Health delivered by Touchstone, MESMAC and Forum Central (on behalf of Men’s Health Unlocked). Men in Health supports men working in health and social care across West Yorkshire with health and wellbeing needs. If you would like to find out more about the service or access support, you can contact them via:

  • Emailing or calling the Project Coordinator, Ali – or text/call 07733 715814
  • Visiting their website here: Home – Men in Health.

There are also lots of ways to get support if you or someone you know are feeling low, alone, or struggling with suicidal thoughts.

If you don’t feel you can keep yourself safe right now, you can seek immediate help here:

  • go to any hospital A&E department (sometimes known as the emergency department)
  • call 999 and ask for an ambulance if you can’t get to A&E
  • ask someone else to contact 999 for you or take you to A&E immediately

If you need some support right now, but don’t want to go to A&E, here are some other options for you to try:

  • Contact the Samaritans on freephone 116 123 (open 24/7). They are there to listen.
  • Contact your GP for an emergency appointment or the out-of-hours team.
  • Call NHS 111.
  • Text SHOUT to 85258 (free) any time 24/7 for support. Messages are anonymous and won’t appear on your phone bill
  • If you are Deaf or hearing impaired, you can text SignHealth Crisis Text Service for Deaf people – Text DEAF to 85258 (free). Messages are anonymous and won’t appear on your phone bill.
  • Contact your local crisis team (see below for each area’s crisis support service)

West and South Yorkshire Crisis services providing out of hours support include;

Leeds Support Services:

  • NHS 111 – People experiencing mental health crisis can now call NHS 111 to access crisis services.
  • West Yorkshire 24 Hour Mental HealthHelpline: Call 0800 183 0558 (freephone).  
  • Leeds Well-Bean Hope in a Crisis Café – 7 nights a week – 6pm-midnight – professional referral contact 07760 173 505 or self-referral 07760 173 476 – for more information, please visit their website here
  • Connect Helpline: (open 6pm-2am every night) 0808 800 1212. For BSL support, call Mondays 7-11pm 07500 870 987. 
  • For more on support in a mental health crisis, please visit MindWell’s Urgent Help webpage.
  • Please note: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Single Point of Access (SPA) phone number is now only available for professionals making referrals and is no longer available to the public. Professionals can still call SPA of access phone number (0800 183 1485) to make urgent referrals. If members of the public call, they will be asked to redial 111 to get support.

Bradford Support Services:

  • Bradford First Response Team: call them on 0800 952 1181 (open 24/7).
  • Bradford Mind’s Guide-Line – Guide-Line provides confidential, emotional support from 12pm (noon) to 12am (midnight) 365 days a year. This is open for anyone living in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven. You can call them on 08001 884 884 or chat to them online, 8am-midnight. Visit their website for the live chat service and for more info here.
  • Bradford Safe Spaces Hub – offers one-to-one same-day support in person or over the phone to anyone aged 7+ living in Bradford and Craven District. Access the service by calling the First Response or Guideline team (see above for numbers) and asking for Safe Spaces. Visit their website for more info here.

South West Yorkshire support services, including in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield:

  • For more info on who to contact in a crisis in South West Yorkshire, please visit the NHS Crisis webpage here.
  • West Yorkshire 24 Hour Mental Health Helpline – this service covers Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. It supports people experiencing mental health issues and seeking support.  You can call them on 0800 183 0558.
  • Kirklees Well-Bean Crisis Café – offers one-to-one support, a safe social space, hot drinks and homemade food every night from 6pm-midnight for anyone living in crisis in the Kirklees area. Referrals are taken over the phone every night from 6pm-midnight. Please call 0774 1900 395 from 6pm, 7 days a week. For more on professional referrals, please visit our website here.
  • Wakefield Safe Space – open to anyone in crisis 7 days a week from 6pm-midnight. They provide face-to-face support, as well as Zoom and telephone support. If you want to make a referral, please call: 07776 962815 from 6pm. For more info, please visit our website here.

Rotherham and South Yorkshire support services:

  • Rotherham Crisis Team: Call for free on 0800 652 9571 or if you are hard of hearing, you can text them on 07974 603610. For more on who to call in Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber for support in a crisis, please visit the NHS page here.
  • Rotherham Safe Space: provides a safe place on weekend evenings, 6pm-midnight, for people in crisis. They offer one-to-one support and a social space, where refreshments and hot food will be available. You can call them to refer on the day you want support on 07760 173504 or our Freephone Number: 0808 175 3991 from 6pm on weekends. It is best to call between 6-7pm but late referrals are taken where possible up to midnight every evening. For more on the service and referrals, please visit their webpage here.