As with other NHS healthcare workers, our staff have been pushed above and beyond their limits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing with it, limited resources and staff shortages, and this has in many people resulted in increased emotional burden and stress.
This toolkit is designed to help, support and educate staff around the risks of suicide within the workplace, promoting good practice, and encouraging healthy conversation to remove the stigma often associated with mental health problems and suicide.
Nationally it is very clear suicide rates are rising within our communities. Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 1 September showed that in 2019, the suicide rate among men and boys was 16.9 deaths per 100 000, the highest since 2000 and slightly above the 2018 rate of 16.2 per 100 000. The suicide rate among women and girls was 5.3 deaths per 100 000 in 2019, up from 5.0 per 100 000 in 2018 and the highest since 2004. The ONS have also concluded recently that male paramedics are 75% more likely to take their own life than any other health care professionals.
These harrowing statistics demonstrate why this work is more important than ever and we hope that the toolkit can be used to make a difference.