World Mental Health Day 2019

Leeds Rhinos star and local playwright join NHS mental health nurse to talk suicide prevention on World Mental Health Day 2019

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is marking World Mental Health Day (10 October 2019) with the release of a special one-off podcast featuring three local mental health campaigners who talk about preventing male suicide.

The focus of this year’s World Mental Health Day is the scale of suicide and the role that each of us can play to help prevent it. Every 40 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone loses their life to suicide.

The Audit of Suicides in Leeds published in September 2019 shows that Leeds has a similar suicide rate to England as a whole but male deaths from suicide are relatively higher. The overall suicide rate in Leeds has remained relatively level over the last five years. In 2018, there were 74 deaths attributed to suicide in Leeds. The gap between deprived Leeds and the city as a whole remains a challenge.

There is a real commitment to suicide prevention work across Leeds which includes healthcare, third sector, education, media, police, fire service, transport and rail sector, and the local authority to name a few. Every single death in this audit for the years 2014-16 has left behind family, friends and communities shattered by the loss. Many others in providing support and care will also feel the impact suicide leaves. Sadly it is unthinkable that people feel so desperate and feel they have no other choice but to take their own life in our city.

To mark World Mental Health Day, on Thursday 10 October, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) has recorded a special one-off podcast featuring a conversation between:

The podcast explores men’s mental health, suicide prevention and reducing stigma. The three also highlight some inspiring projects taking place which show the importance of talking about mental health.

Mental health nurse Josef Faulkner shot to fame in April 2017 when he ran from Leeds to London and then ran the London Marathon. He took on this incredible challenge to raise money for mental health charity Rethink which supports people affected by mental health problems.

Josef said: “I first became aware of mental health illnesses when I became a child carer for a very close family member. It was these early experiences that led me to decide to complete my nursing training and become a registered mental health nurse.

“The latest figures for male suicide in Leeds show that men are five times more likely to end their life than women. So it’s so important for us to keep taking steps to tackle that.

“I’m excited to be joining with other local mental health campaigners to talk about this vital issue that affects so many men – and talking is the first big hurdle we need to get over. If we can do more of that, we can save more lives.”

The Leeds Recovery College – a new approach to supporting people’s mental wellbeing

A range of learning opportunities that focus on developing the knowledge and strength to overcome life’s challenges and live mentally and physically well are being offered by the recently-launched Leeds Recovery College (hosted by LYPFT).

It doesn’t matter if a person has a diagnosis or not, courses are open to all adults who live, work or study in Leeds and who would like to improve their mental health or personal understanding of mental health problems.

Courses are being delivered across the city, making the most of community hubs and local centres at venues such as Lovell Park, Stocks Hill and Vale Circles Hubs.

Find out more about the Leeds Recovery College and what’s on offer at

If you, a friend or a member of your family is struggling – here’s where you could get help
If you need to talk to someone about how you are feeling please visit the MindWell Leeds website. This website is the single ‘go to’ place for information about mental health in Leeds.

A new resource has been launched by Mindwell which will help guide people in crisis through the different kinds of support available including help from the NHS, third sector support and telephone helplines.

The Leeds Crisis Card lists lots of useful support groups in the Leeds area that provide help with a range of issues.

If you’re a young person, the MindMate website can help you understand the way you’re feeling and find the right advice and support.

Get involved

Everyone can take part in World Mental Health Day whichever way makes most sense. Your activity may be private, for example, initiating a conversation with someone you are worried about or sharing a message of hope with someone who is struggling; or it may be public, for example posting a video message for local or national authorities about action you would like them to take on this issue.

Here are some more ideas:

  • If you are struggling, take 40 seconds to kickstart a conversation with someone you trust about how you are feeling.
  • If you know someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, take 40 seconds to start a conversation and ask them how they are doing.
  • If you are an employer or manager, take 40 seconds to formulate a positive message of support to your employees about resources available to them in the workplace or local community in times of mental distress.

Share your messages, photos, illustrations and videos that are not of a private nature on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #40seconds. Include #WorldMentalHealthDay in your posts too.