News and Notices

Great work, Wendy

It is a year since Wendy Hodgkinson took on the role of suicide prevention facilitator for DCHS and we signed up to the National Suicide Prevention Alliance https://www.nspa.org.uk/

Reports by the Samaritans show suicide rates have increasing in recent years, even before the pandemic hit us, raising fears about the additional burden this will have placed on people’s mental health. Men, especially young men, are disproportionately falling victim to suicide. But there has been a worrying recent increase in suicides across the ages and in both men and women, according to recent data.

Against this background, the work which Wendy is driving forward with support from senior leaders at Board level is really helping to ensure DCHS is well placed to engage effectively in areas of suicide prevention, in partnership with others in our local communities. This means supporting our own staff and also recognising and acting on situations where individuals may be feeling vulnerable to making attempts on their own life.

Wendy, who is part of the healthcare team at Whitworth Hospital, has taken on this additional DCHS-wide suicide prevention responsibility with passion and determination. She has achieved much in the past 12 months, giving presentations to staff, working with patient groups and ensuring DCHS is aligned to the latest drives and initiatives to help us collectively reverse this upward trend in suicides. As a compassionate and caring organisation, and one whose key purpose is to look after people, we owe it to our communities to give this serious attention and focus. Wendy has worked closely with Dr Alan Blair and Helen Burke, our children’s mental health lead, during the year and we’re planning to present this work at a forthcoming Council of Governors meeting during the autumn. World Suicide Day in September will again give us a golden opportunity to raise the profile on this vital and life-preserving work.