We’re working with governments across the UK and the Republic of Ireland.
Government plans for suicide prevention exist at local and national level.
Currently, every nation in the UK, and the Republic of Ireland, has a strategy for suicide prevention. We’re working with their governments to make sure these plans are as effective and ambitious as possible.
Nearly every local area in England now has a suicide prevention plan in place.
A new national suicide prevention strategy for England
Samaritans has submitted evidence to the Government’s consultation on a new suicide prevention strategy for England. The strategy is an important chance to set the agenda for Government action on suicide prevention over the next decade.
Our submission covered many topics, but there were some stand out themes:
- The importance of early intervention to support people who are living with suicidality
- Approaching suicide prevention as a socioeconomic inequality issue
- Increasing Government accountability for suicide prevention, including a new target to reduce rates
You can read a summary of Samaritans’ submission below.
Alongside Samaritans’ response, we also encouraged supporters to put their views forward to the consultation. Over 200 supporters, many of whom have their own lived experience and/or volunteer for Samaritans, directly told the Government what action they thought needed to be taken through the new strategy.
Samaritans leads the Suicide Prevention Consortium, part of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance. Through the Consortium we spoke to over 50 people with lived experience of suicide, self-harm and / or alcohol or drug misuse about what they thought needed to change through the strategy. This insight was shared directly with Government and informed Samaritans’ response, and you can read the report below.
With the consultation having closed, the Government will now be working on putting together a new 10-year suicide prevention plan based on the feedback it received. Samaritans will be at the forefront of ensuring that it is as impactful as possible in achieving our vision of fewer people dying by suicide.
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Local suicide prevention plans in England
Samaritans campaigned for all local authorities to have suicide prevention plans in place but until now, no-one has known what these plans included.
Our joint report with the University of Exeter is the first ever nation-wide view of suicide prevention planning within local authorities in England. This is critical to understanding what needs to happen next to save more lives.
Our full report provides an overview of activity in plans, with regional analysis and recommendations against a number of priority areas and can be downloaded below.
Reducing risk in men
This was included in 97% of local authority plans and 70% were delivering action.
Children and young people
This was included in 92% of local authority plans and 80% were delivering action.
This was included in 97% of local authority plans and 71% were delivering action.
This was included in 92% of local authority plans and 55% were delivering action.
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.
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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