About Us


In 2019, funding was provided to local communities worst affected by suicide by NHS England to contribute to a national reduction in suicides. This funding has enabled the development of the HeadFirst site providing a range of online and face training options for people living, working and volunteering in North Yorkshire.   

Mental Health and Well-being   

Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the UK. Stress, anxiety and depression were the leading cause of lost work days in 2017/18. The cost of poor mental health to the economy as a whole is estimated to be far in excess of what the country gives the NHS to spend on mental health. So, reducing the impact of common mental illness can also increase our national income and productivity (Source: NHS Long Term Plan – January 2019). 

In 2014 a North Yorkshire the Suicide Strategic Group was established to develop a response to reducing suicides in North Yorkshire https://www.nypartnerships.org.uk/suicide.  

The group is a partnership between statutory and voluntary services, communities and people with lived experience working and living in North Yorkshire: To work together to have no person lost through suicide and provide better support to those affected by self-harm and suicide in North Yorkshire, with a mission to: 

  • Provide communities with the knowledge and confidence to seek help or help others to prevent self-harm or suicide 
  • Support families, communities and public bodies to deal with the impact of self-harm and suicide.  

Between 2015 and 2018:

  • In North Yorkshire the highest number of suicides were among men aged 40-59 (40%) and this reflects the national picture.
  • The average age of all those who have taken their life by suicide is age 50.
  • The average age is slightly lower for males (49) and females is slightly higher (53).
  • The number of suicides vary by district with Scarborough district witnessing the highest number of suicides between 2015 and 2018. 

Communities play a crucial role in the prevention of poor mental health and the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing and community engagement and development are therefore part of the core deliverables of what “good” looks like in the Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health PHE 2017.  Access to mental health and suicide prevention training is also a key priority of the North Yorkshire Suicide Prevention Implementation Plan. 

HeadFirst will provide a delivery partnership with qualified, experienced trainers in all districts of North Yorkshire.

The aim of the Hub will be to: 

  • Reduce stigma and discrimination
  • Develop mentally healthy communities and workplaces 
  • Increase the wellbeing and emotional resilience of people working and living in North Yorkshire 
  •  Reduce suicides.