Local Action Saves Lives

Local Action Saves Lives

There are more than 6,000 suicides in the UK each year.

It is the biggest killer of men under 50, and the biggest killer of young people aged 20-34. But it is not inevitable.

Mike's story

Community projects that help people to talk can save lives. Read Mike's story to find out how.

Stella's story

Everyone who needs help after being bereaved by suicide should get it. Read Stella's story to find out why.

Deborah's story

Specialist support people in crisis need isn’t always there. Read Deborah's story to find out how we can change this.



Local councils in England and Wales have a responsibility to prevent suicide.

They need to work with health services, community groups, charities and others to make this happen.

The Government has told councils that they should all have plans in place to prevent suicide by 2017. But the best available information indicates that a third of councils have no plan in place at all, and those councils who do have plans may not be doing everything they could be.

Local Action Saves Lives is Samaritans’ campaign for all councils to put in place effective suicide prevention plans. Because without a proper plan involving local organisations, suicide prevention work is much less effective than it could be.


Taking our campaign to Parliament

On World Mental Health Day, we took Local Action Saves Lives to Parliament along with Andy's Man Clubs founder, Luke Ambler. Read more here.

Frequently asked questions

How can I support Local Action Saves Lives?

How should I go about meeting my councillors to discuss suicide prevention?

Can I read about what you’re calling for councils and Members of the Scottish Parliament to do in more detail?

What else is Samaritans doing on this issue?

How can I donate to support this work?

My question hasn’t been answered here – who can I contact?


How can I support Local Action Saves Lives?

Thank you for your support! You can email your local politicians quickly and easily. If you’re on social media, you can share the campaign on Twitter and Facebook. You can even ask to meet your councillor to discuss suicide prevention.

How should I go about meeting my councillors to discuss suicide prevention?

As well as writing to the senior councillors in your area, you can also meet with your local ward councillors - you’ll have between one and three of them. They represent the particular streets near you. Holding face-to-face meetings with your local ward councillors is one of the best ways to raise awareness of Samaritans’ campaign. The easiest way of finding out who the councillors are for your particular ward and then email them is to use Write to Them. Alternatively, most council websites include email addresses for all the councillors and you will often be able to find details online of their surgeries which you can attend in order to raise issues that matter to you.

Councillors are often quite busy, so it’s best to write a concise note explaining why you’re interested in meeting with them. They’re most likely to want to meet if you can relate your concerns to your local area because that’s what they’re responsible for. They don’t have any power over national Government policy.

Once you’ve secured a meeting, please do get in touch! We’d be pleased to send you information on the situation in your area and some tips for making the most of your meeting.

If you’re a Samaritans volunteer, remember to check with your Branch Director before arranging a meeting with your councillor, as they may already be speaking with the council about suicide prevention.

Can I read about what you’re calling for councils and Members of the Scottish Parliament to do in more detail?

Yes, please take a look at our detailed policy briefing.

What else is Samaritans doing on this issue?

Many of our branches are represented on local suicide prevention groups, where they provide local councils with specialist advice based on their work with some of the most vulnerable people in the community, and drawing on Samaritans’ 60 years of experience working to reduce suicide.

We also work with the Government to advise on national policy, and host the National Suicide Prevention Alliance, which is currently working with Public Health England to put on a series of ‘masterclasses’ for local authorities to support the development and implementation of local suicide prevention plans. You can find out more about the work we do in our local community here.

Thank you for your interest in supporting us! Our work relies on the public’s kind donations. Support us today

My question hasn’t been answered here – who can I contact?

Please email us and we’ll get right back to you.