Partnership event creates city-wide strategy for suicide prevention
The University of Wolverhampton hosted a city-wide strategy development event recently which will focus on creating an action plan for suicide prevention until 2027.
A Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for All Age Suicide Prevention in Wolverhampton was completed by City of Wolverhampton Council Public Health to provide an evidence-based, data-informed overview of suicide in Wolverhampton. The aims of the needs assessment are to understand the incidence of suicide in people of all ages living in Wolverhampton and to consider who is at greatest risk of suicide and why.
A range of colleagues and services from across the city attended the strategy development event at the beginning of September – held in the same week as World Suicide Prevention Day. The event took place in the University’s Chancellor’s Hall and was supported by City of Wolverhampton Mayor, Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre. Attendees received the needs assessment findings as well as engaging in discussion and priority setting, supporting the development of the next City-wide strategy.
The Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Stakeholder Forum, chaired by the University of Wolverhampton’s Academic Lead for Mental Health and Wellbeing Clare Dickens, MBE, is an established network of partner organisations who lead the agenda locally supported through the Public Health team at City of Wolverhampton Council. The forum feeds into the Health and Wellbeing Board and One Wolverhampton, which forms part of the Integrated Care System.
Suicide prevention work in Wolverhampton is aligned with the priorities set out in the City of Wolverhampton Council’s ‘Our City: Our Plan’ and the ‘Public Health Vision 2030’, as well as priorities set out through the Integrated Care System.
Clare said: “Many partners who take a key role in this agenda progress suicide prevention efforts within their respective organisations to ensure policies are adopted in various settings including education, voluntary community sector and statutory services.
“The Wolverhampton Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan provides a multiagency approach to suicide prevention across Wolverhampton. It does this by raising awareness of suicide and compelling organisations, and the community, to take positive action. It also focuses on up skilling workforces enabling them to better understand and respond to poor mental wellbeing and suicide ideation as well as influencing services and policies so that suicide prevention is robustly considered and embedded in routine business.
“It also aims to provide a coordinated suicide support offer which can be accessed by services and communities, and support NHS partners in reaching suicide reduction objectives set out in various policies.
“This needs assessment is intended to provide a comprehensive overview to those stakeholders across the city to enable us, as partners, to shape a refreshed local suicide prevention strategy and action plan. Wolverhampton currently has the lowest rate of suicide reported across the region, however, we cannot afford to sit back. Lives are still lost to and devastated by suicide in Wolverhampton, and we need to honour that and learn from those losses when reflecting on any successes and strengths we have achieved.”
Picture caption from left to right: David Reeve (Chief Finance Officer at the University), Clare Dickens, The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Ranjit Kaur and Parpinder Singh, Public Health at City of Wolverhampton Council.
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