Herefordshire and Worcestershire suicide prevention programme

Our vision for Herefordshire and Worcestershire is that no person should feel ashamed or must sit alone with their thoughts of suicide. Everyone in this situation should know that they are not alone, and that suicide is not their only option.

About the programme

Funded by NHS England, the national programme was set up a couple of years ago to work with teams in local areas to strengthen their local suicide prevention plans, to improve safety and ultimately reduce suicide and self-harm rates. For more information see Implementing the Mental Health Forward View from NHS.

The national programme made it a possible to launch the Herefordshire and Worcestershire suicide prevention programme.

The programme is about early intervention and prevention in everyday settings.  We want to foster communities that create and promote opportunities for those struggling with their emotional health to get help before a crisis point is reached. 

This is particularly important for groups of our population such as middle-aged men who may be less likely to access formal healthcare support around mental health.

The programme forms part of a wider Suicide Prevention Strategy for Worcestershire. The current Action Plan is being updated for 2022/23. 

Our aims

  • to remove the stigma associated with experiencing suicidal thoughts (especially for men)
  • to improve people’s awareness and education of suicide in our local communities
  • to enable people in the community to identify others who may be feeling suicidal and offer signposting
  • to create and promote opportunities within communities to help those at risk of and affected by suicide
  • respond to emerging patterns in local suicide data, undertake regular programme impact reviews and share useful learning across the wider suicide prevention network

What we are doing now

While anyone at all can be affected by suicide, we know that suicide does discriminate. Gender, occupation, ethnicity, income, and deprivation can and do impact the likelihood of someone taking their own life in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. 

Our programme has been developed with the most vulnerable people and places in mind to tackle these inequalities. Everyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, no matter what their background or situation, should be empowered and able to access appropriate help and support. 

Now We’re Talking – Acting Together to Prevent Suicide Campaign

In September 2021 we launched our Acting Together to Prevent Suicide campaign in partnership with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust. 

The campaign is fronted by Delicious Orie – a GB boxer with roots in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

If you would like social media assets or hard copy materials to share the campaign in your community or organisation, please get in touch.
 

orange button banner

The Orange Button Scheme

We are setting up the Orange Button Scheme across Herefordshire and Worcestershire to help people who are having thoughts of suicide, or who are worried about a friend or family member. 

If you see someone wearing an orange button, they have had the training needed to help you find local information and support.

A community partnership of voluntary sector organisations has come together to pilot the scheme across Herefordshire and Worcestershire between April and July 2022.

You can read more about the scheme and how it started on Lancashire and South Cumbria’s Health and Care Partnership website.
 

If you are struggling to cope then call the Urgent Mental Health helpline on 0808 1969127 or text SHOUT to 85258

#PreventSuicideTogether

Our Workplace Scheme

In March 2022 we launched the first stage of our Workplace Programme across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The scheme encourages and supports employers and employees to raise awareness about suicide prevention, advises around procedures and creates opportunities for early intervention in the workplace.

We are compiling a free digital resource pack for businesses around suicide prevention, along with a suicide prevention policy.  To be notified when these are available, register your interest.  Please include your business name in your request.  
 

A group of work men

Upcoming

  • In September 2022 we are rolling out a range of suicide prevention training sessions.  This will strengthen the skills of those well-placed in communities to spot signs that something isn’t right, have a conversation about suicide and direct to appropriate support.
  • We have an upcoming small grants scheme open to voluntary, community and social enterprise partners in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  If you are interested in learning more, please email to register for our informational webinar

Contacts

For more information about the programme please contact the suicide prevention team at suicidepreventionprogramme@worcestershire.gov.uk.

National Suicide Programme

Royal College of Psychiatrists