Making suicide prevention a priority

Samaritans' statement in response to the University of Manchester National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH) report showing patients being treated for mental health issues are more at risk of suicide in the community than in hospital

Samaritans’ Research Manager, Elizabeth Scowcroft, said:

“Suicide is everybody’s business and if someone is at risk of taking their own life, we all need to be confident that expert help will be available in a crisis.  

28% of people who died by suicide in the UK between 2004 and 2014 had been in contact with mental health services in the year before their death. These suicides should be the most preventable, given that these people are receiving specialist care. Yet, vulnerable people are clearly still at risk.

Samaritans believes this is unacceptable. Support for people at risk of suicide, whether they are receiving care in hospital or in the community, needs urgent attention. 
Today we have launched a campaign called ‘Local Action Saves Lives’. Samaritans is calling on everyone - from the health sector to the education sector, from parents to politicians - to demand that there are effective suicide prevention plans in place in every local area.  With local knowledge and local organisations collaborating to take action, together we can save lives.”

Find out more about Samaritans’ Local Action Saves Lives campaign at: or follow @samaritans and #LocalActionSavesLives.

For further information, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or


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Notes to editors:

  • You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch.
  • It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Find out how you can support us: