NSPA Members’ Survey 2019: what we learned

76 organisational members completed the survey this summer, which is nearly half of our membership – thank you very much to those that took the time, it has been very helpful.

Our key findings include:

When asked about their top 3 achievements in 2018-19:

  • 43% of members mentioned delivering suicide prevention training in their communities and for other organisations, while 14% provided training to their own staff and volunteers
  • 32% of members were involved in campaigning and awareness-raising activities
  • 31% provided bereavement support or postvention advice
  • 23% made improvements to their organisational strategies or policies
  • 23% developed and delivered new services while 18% grew existing services
  • 19% worked in new partnerships and collaborations and
  • 4% believe they achieved changes in policy through their influencing and lobbying work

“Delivering suicide prevention training to 400+ people across [our area].    Providing 1:1 intensive mental health support for 1000+ beneficiaries … through our … service.   Delivering training to workplaces.”

“Produced an … intervention pack and resources to give guidance and support to senior managers, HR, line managers following a sudden death or suicide.  Suicide awareness and suicide awareness plus training.  Free mental health workshops for our supply chain where suicide stats and prevention is covered.  Run World suicide prevention day campaign annually.”

“Reviewing our local suicide action plan in line with the National and [local] Suicide Prevention Strategy.  Launched the Bereaved by Suicide support service.   Worked with all our key local partners to identify possible [high frequency location]. Starting work with workplaces to reduce stress and [improve] mental health.”

When asked about their priorities for 2019-20:

  • 55% of members plan to grow and improve the services they deliver
  • 37% will engage in campaigning and awareness-raising
  • 32% will be providing bereavement support services
  • 27% of members plan to deliver training outside their organisation, and 13% will train their own staff and volunteers
  • 15% will work on improving the data they have on local deaths by suicide and the impact that will have on improving and better focussing their services, many of these mentioned implementing or continuing real-time surveillance

“1. Maintain [our] campaign for everyone in our community in collaboration with [volunteers], partners and our local community. 2. Reach at-risk groups through targeted campaigns focusing on men and particularly Eastern European men in [our area]. 3. Continue to equip local people and professionals with suicide prevention skills for free through training.”

“Continue to increase public awareness of (and willingness to call) our 24-hour support line. Train over 1500 additional people in suicide prevention. Make long term and sustainable changes to strategic policies and clinical pathways.”

We also asked about the challenges they are facing in 2019-20:

  • 55% identified financial pressures as an issue for them, which may well be linked to the 53% who are facing an increase in demand for their services and the 37% who mentioned staffing issues
  • 20% were concerned about the external environment, including Brexit, and how that would impact them

“We are a small team. It has been a challenge continuing to run the service whilst making significant changes in our service delivery to meet funders requirements for areas such as reporting.”

“[Our area] has one of the highest levels of social deprivation in Northern Europe and has relied heavily on EU funding which will not be replaced by Westminster.  This is having an indirect impact on social programmes, housing and community initiatives to promote wellbeing.  There is no hard evidence that the current political situation and Brexit is having a detrimental impact, but it is probably having an indirect impact on the increased number of suicides in [our area] across all age groups.”

We asked members what they found valuable about being members of our alliance:

  • 63% mentioned how much they value that we keep them informed of news and research, provide useful resources, and enable them to learn
  • 45% value the opportunities to network and collaborate that we provide, with 13% specifically mentioning our conference and members’ meetings
  • 34% appreciate that we share good practice from others, with 13% also valuing the opportunity to share their own good practice via the NSPA
  • 16% talked about how lonely the work can be, and how much they value the support from the NSPA team
  • 13% appreciate our ability to influence at a national level

“It is so important to feel connected with other people working in the same field, so that we can learn from one another, share our experience and knowledge, and grow stronger together in our aims and mission to prevent suicide. Being a member of such an important body, also raises our status as an organisation and we feel welcomed and supported.”

“Being part of a wider family, all of whom are trying to achieve the same goals. Sharing of best practice and the evidence base. Relationships. Simply not being alone when one needs to reach out.  Contacts.”

“Ability to share practice and learn from other. Also working purely in the field of Suicide Prevention is very isolating and long term – hence difficult to keep up motivation. The support from the NSPA either in events or personal has been so positive and supportive it keeps you focused.”

When we asked how else the NSPA could help members in their work or if they had any other comments nearly 50% said thank you and that we were doing good work.  However, there were various suggestions that we will reflect on, including holding more events outside London, using online discussions or webinars more, and how we can support the work our members do even more.

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to complete the survey, your feedback is invaluable. If you would like any further information on our findings, please email us at info@nspa.org.uk.

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