Chapter 7: Priority 3: Impact

3. Make our voice heard at a national, regional and local level for maximum impact

Our challenge

As decisions are increasingly taken at a local and regional level that impact on suicide prevention, we lack the resources and systems to make effective change at national, regional and local levels.

Our ambition

To make suicide prevention a priority nationally, regionally and locally for governments, public services and businesses, so that fewer people die by suicide.

We will achieve this by:

  • Striving to ensure there are robust suicide prevention strategies in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
  • Pressing for reforms in policy, legislation, institutions and services that will reduce suicide risk factors and help save lives.
  • Working with our branches to influence local policies and practices that impact suicide risk in their communities.

We will also build partnerships for change, and influence key industries and sectors by:

  • Continuing to work in alliances, including the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and Support After Suicide Partnership, for greater impact.
  • Continuing our role to draw in the best available evidence from across the world and sharing our learning, through networks such as Befrienders Worldwide.
  • Increasing our work to reduce the risk of suicide in public places and forge collaborations with more industries and sectors that can help.
  • Building on our work to engage media and technology companies to push for responsible communication of suicide and a safer internet.

We will expand our research and develop our use of evidence to make more change by:

  • Building on and using more widely our knowledge of what works to prevent self-harm and suicide and involve people with personal experience in this work.
  • Helping to fill gaps in knowledge about the risk of suicide and self-harm, recognising that there is still very limited evidence about marginalised groups and communities.
  • Becoming the centre of excellence for research, learning particularly from people with lived experience.
  • Pushing for the evidence to translate into meaningful actions and policies that make a real difference.

Expanding our influence

To help prevent suicides, we must make our voice heard across governments and assemblies in England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, ensuring that a wider range of policy-makers, not just those in health, prioritise suicide prevention. This will include areas which help reduce risk, for example by increasing financial security, or reducing access to the means of suicide.

Samaritans staff member Emily talks about how Samaritans is pushing for change to prevent suicide.

Samaritans isn’t just a place where you can call for support and help in the moment. We’re also working to prevent those real-world difficult situations that might lead you to be in that place.


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