Tagged: January

Sign of the times : Middlesbrough councillors to discuss suicide prevention as report reveals higher than average rate in North East

Almost 600 people have committed suicide in Middlesbrough and Stockton since 1997.

Whilst the number of suicides has fluctuated over a 17-year period there has been a decreasing trend in numbers.

But preventing suicide is on the agenda for Middlesbrough Council, which is meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Between 1997 and 2013, 289 suicides had taken place in Middlesbrough, which was the second highest number in the Tees area behind Stockton with 293.

Men accounted for 76% of suicides, in line with national trends.

Statistically, the most common month for suicides was January followed by May and October.

The most frequent method used was hanging/strangulation at 45%, followed by self-poisoning at 32%.

However, there is a difference in gender with 52% of males using hanging compared to 24% of females whilst 57% of females used self-poisoning compared to 23% for males.

Jumping from a height was the third most frequent method of suicide in Teesside and it was noted in a report presented to the panel that there are many high points in the area.

The Overview and Scrutiny Board is to discuss the Tees Suicide Prevention Implementation Plan.

These include reducing the risk of suicide in key high risk groups; reducing access to the means of suicide; and providing better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide.

One of the recommendations of the panel is asking that the planning authority should receive the details of the action developers will take in terms of suicide prevention e.g. safety fencing.

The panel was informed at a meeting last month that nationally the current rate of deaths by suicide was 8.5 deaths per 100,000 of the population.

This figure was slightly higher in the North-east. The current figure for Middlesbrough was 10.8 per 100,000.

> Hopefully they might ask questions about why people commit sucide – not just how.

It would be interesting to know exactly how many were caused by the actions of the DWP and its staff –  sanctions, etc – and, however indirectly, by politicians – bedroom tax, etc.

Source –  Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 20 Oct 2014

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Tyne & Wear Firefighters Face Cuts

One in every five firefighters in Tyne and Wear could be made redundant after the region’s fire service announced proposals to cut over £5 million from its budget.

The authority is consult on three options, including using smaller response vehicles or axing up to six engines.

Option one includes “standing down” engines on quieter nights and reducing fire fighter cover at some stations.

Option 2 would see the same cuts plus the closure of community fire stations in Wallsend and Gosforth with services moving to a new facility at Benton.

A third option sees closures in Sunderland.

If all options are backed then 131 firefighting jobs – 20% of the workforce – would go. An aerial ladder platform would also be lost.

Brigade Secretary Dave Turner said “We have made it clear in all recent discussions with senior managers that we will oppose any further cuts to frontline services.

“These are the most devastating cuts in the service’s history and will mean firefighters and the public will be at far greater risk if these cuts go ahead.

“It also means that areas of Tyne and Wear will be left without cover for extended periods – again increasing the risk to both the public and firefighters alike.”

Fire service bosses will decide on the cuts in January.

Source – Newcastle Journal 23 Oct 2013