We’re working with governments across the UK and the Republic of Ireland to reduce suicide.
Every nation in the UK and the Republic of Ireland has a strategy for suicide prevention. We’re working with them to make sure their plans are as effective and ambitious as possible.
Good progress has also been made locally – nearly every local area in England now has a suicide prevention plan in place, and we’ve looked at what’s in these plans.
Local suicide prevention plans
Samaritans campaigned for all local authorities to have suicide prevention plans in place but until now, no-one has known what these plans included across the country.
Our joint report with the University of Exeter provides the first ever nation-wide view of the breadth and depth of suicide prevention planning within local authorities in England. This is critical to understanding what needs to happen next to save more lives.
We found that a good start has been made in suicide prevention planning.
Almost all local authorities have established a suicide prevention plan and multi-agency group.
Our report provides an overview of activity in plans, with regional analysis and recommendations against a number of priority areas, including:
- Reducing risk in men – 97% included in plan / 70% delivering action
- Children & young people – 92% included in plan / 80% delivering action
- Bereavement support – 97% included in plan / 71% delivering action
- Preventing self-harm – 92% included in plan / 55% delivering action
Local plans include a wealth of ambition to prevent suicide. But good planning alone does not prevent suicide. The focus should now be on ensuring actions are delivered effectively to save lives.
This can be challenging in the context of cuts to local public health budgets.
Our report outlines a series of local and national recommendations that will support this transition.
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To deliver effective national strategies policy-makers should:
- Set out ambitious targets for suicide reduction, particularly amongst vulnerable groups, to drive forward change across government.
- Prioritise action on suicide prevention across government departments and set out clear cross-government processes for implementation, governance and delivery.
- Provide ambitious leadership, resources, guidance and support to enable local policy-makers to put effective plans in place.
- Set out ring-fenced funding for suicide prevention and direct this towards evidence-based interventions that support the most vulnerable groups.
Download our policy briefing for more information.