Suicide Prevention: Policy and Strategy: (Briefing Paper Number CBP 08221)

House of Commons Library, February 2018

This briefing paper provides a statistical overview of suicide rates throughout the UK over time, using the latest data from the Office of National Statistics, which were published in September 2017. These show that in Great Britain in 2016 there were 5,668 recorded suicides which represented a slight fall since 2015 and the lowest overall number since 2010. The 2016 suicide data for Northern Ireland has not yet been published. It also  provides an overview of suicide prevention policies and strategies in the UK, as well as their various updates.  It considers the interdependent policy areas which are impacted by suicide prevention:

  • Health Services
  • Education
  • Employment and social security
  • Railways
  • Prisons
  • Media
  • The armed forces
  • Coroners conclusions

Click here to read the report.


Suicide prevention: Interim report

Commons Select Committee, December 2016

The Health Committee has published an interim report to allow the emerging themes from witnesses to be presented to government in time to inform the updated suicide prevention strategy. A full report will follow next year, once the strategy has been published and witnesses have been invited to give their views.

Click here to access the report.

Preventing suicides in public places: a practice resource

Public Health England, December 2015

This practice resource is for those with responsibility for suicide prevention in local authorities and their partner agencies. It has been developed to help them contribute to the delivery of the national suicide prevention strategy for England, in particular area 3 of the strategy, ‘Reduce access to the means of suicide’.

Click here for further information and to download the report.

Suicide prevention: identifying and responding to suicide clusters

Public Health England, September 2015

This toolkit is for people with responsibility for suicide prevention in local authorities and their partner agencies.

It includes:

•the meaning of the term ‘suicide clusters’
•identification of suicide clusters
•suggestions for who may be at risk of suicidal acts due to the influence of other people’s suicidal behaviour,
•the mechanisms involved in suicide clusters
•the effects of suicide on other individuals
The steps required at local level to prepare for a suicide cluster are described alongside suggested responses to possible suicide clusters.  Finally, best practice is provided on how to evaluate responses to a cluster, and on using the experience to improve further suicide prevention measures.

Click here to download the toolkit.

Samaritans Launches Twitter App To Help Identify Vulnerable People

The Samaritans, 29 October 2014

Samaritans, the leading suicide prevention charity, has launched Samaritans Radar – a free web application that monitors your friends’ Tweets, alerting you if it spots anyone who may be struggling to cope. The app gives users a second chance to see potentially worrying Tweets, which might have otherwise been missed.

Created by digital agency Jam using Twitter’s API, Samaritans Radar uses a specially designed algorithm that looks for specific keywords and phrases within a Tweet. It then sends an email alert to the user with a link to the Tweet it has detected, and offers guidance on the best way of reaching out and providing support.

Click here for further information.

Suicide prevention: developing a local action plan

Public Health England, October 2014

The development of a local suicide action plan is recommended by government and supports the 2012 strategy ‘Preventing Suicide in England. A Cross Government Outcomes Strategy to save Lives’.

This document advises local authorities how to:

  • develop a suicide prevention action plan
  • monitor data, trends and hot spots
  • engage with local media
  • work with transport to map hot spots
  • work on local priorities to improve mental health

Click here for further information and to download the guidance.