About the Call to Action for suicide prevention

The Call to Action consisted of national organisations from across the public, private and voluntary sectors in England taking action so that:

  1. fewer lives are lost to suicide
  2. people bereaved or affected by a suicide receive the right support.

The Call to Action is to mobilise the action that is needed from across sectors to successfully support those at risk of suicide, reduce suicide and support people affected by a suicide.

The success of the Call to Action Declaration (PDF) meant members confirmed they wanted to continue as a standing alliance of organisations, called the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.

This is the first time that organisations have come together to deliver real action to reduce suicide across England.

Why a co-ordinated approach is important

Suicide is usually the result of a complex set of issues in someone’s life.

The factors that contribute to suicidal behaviour are wide-ranging. These include traumatic events, family problems, social isolation, bereavement, deprivation, unemployment and mental health issues.

There are many possible points of contact with someone at risk, and a vulnerable person may need help and support from several different sources.

Priority areas

The members of the Call to Action have identified five priority areas and have also mapped out activity that needs to be undertaken. The five areas are:

  1. Referrals and signposting – to improve referrals and signposting between relevant organisations

  2. Campaigns – to explore the delivery of shared communications campaigns and coordinate existing campaign activity

  3. Data and research – to share relevant data and research including collaborative projects

  4. Training – to explore opportunities for training partners outside of the suicide prevention sphere and deliver an overview of available training providers

  5. The online environment – to explore suicide within an online context and how better to support vulnerable people online

Shared aims

Working together on the following shared aims, the member organisation have committed to ensuring:

  • People in distress have increased options for support and are given information in a consistent way.
  • Increased sharing of best practice, learning and partnership working between all agencies with an interest in suicide reduction activities or that play a role in reducing vulnerability to suicide.
  • Better access to and take up of suicide prevention training.
  • Better, more accessible data relating to suicide prevention.
  • Improving access to appropriate services that provide effective interventions by ensuring easily available local and national information.
  • Improved help-seeking behaviours amongst high-risk groups and the whole population.
  • Learning lessons from the response to a suicide to reduce the number of future suicides and better support bereaved families.

What difference will the Call to Action make?

The Call to Action has been shaped by what stakeholders believe is important. The achievements of the Call to Action are strongly dependent on the will and commitment of stakeholders to take action and work together.

The Call to Action will:

  • Engage national organisations so that each organisation or agency plays their individual role in reducing suicide.
  • Seek to achieve real change by prioritising a few of the most important issues to focus our joint energies on.
  • Recognise the good work already underway and help stakeholders share and coordinate activity.
  • Make us all more accountable for what we have promised to do because we have publically stated our commitment.

How will being part of the Call to Action benefit organisations?

  • Suicide is about people’s lives. Death by suicide means lost life, lost talent, a lost mother or father, brother or sister, son or daughter, and a wound that does not easily heal in families and communities. Be part of making a difference.
  • Be at the centre of action to reduce suicide.
  • Showcase and be recognised for your own good work.
  • Build relationships with other organisations.
  • Potentially be part of new initiatives going forward.
  • Draw attention to the challenges and barriers experienced.
  • Influence other organisations to take action.

Find out more about the background and context to the Call to Action