National Suicide Prevention Strategies

The UK and the Republic of Ireland have national suicide prevention strategies to reduce suicide. Samaritans wants to make these as effective as possible.

Governments and devolved administrations in all five nations across the UK and the Republic of Ireland have developed and published their own national suicide prevention strategies aimed at supporting a wide range of interventions to reduce suicide. It is important, of course, that these strategies are as effective as they possibly can be, and Samaritans has a number of recommendation for governments on this.

Key summary

  • Samaritans believes that national suicide prevention strategies are a key component of suicide prevention. National strategies mean that interventions can be implemented nationally, regionally and locally in a systematic way. They do this by:
  • Making suicide prevention a stated policy objective at national level and ensuring that it is prioritised by the relevant government departments.
  • Providing the mandate and the guidance that enables regional co-ordinators and local commissioners to commit resources towards suicide prevention given the many competing priorities for resources they are likely to be facing.
  • Samaritans believe that governments are directly responsible for providing the leadership and resources necessary to ensure that the interventions defined in the national strategy can be delivered in local communities across the country. The full implementation of a national strategy cannot be delivered by governments alone, however: this requires the active engagement of a wide range of partner organisations.
  • At a local level it is important that there are structures in place to help different agencies top cooperate. Ideally this should involve the development of a co-ordinated local action plan, guided by the national strategy but tailored for the local population by a multi-agency suicide prevention group with membership from across the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Download Samaritans' full National Suicide Prevention Strategies policy briefing.