Local suicide prevention planning: a practice resource

Our comprehensive guidance directly supports the Government’s ongoing strategy for England, Preventing Suicide in England: A Cross Government Outcomes Strategy to save Lives and the recommendation taken from Five Year Forward View for Mental Health that all local areas have multi-agency suicide prevention plans in place by 2017, contributing to a 10 per cent reduction in suicide nationally.

Local suicide prevention planning guidance

It is designed to support local authority public health teams to work with a wide range of stakeholders, including clinical commissioning groups, health and well-being boards and the voluntary sector, to develop local suicide prevention plans.

The resource includes guidance on:

  • the national context for a focus on suicide prevention
  • building a partnership approach
  • making sense of national and local data
  • developing a suicide prevention strategy and action plan
  • evidence and ideas for action

Infographics: local suicide prevention planning

On this page you can find easily downloadable graphics, taken from the Local Suicide Prevention Planning Guidance, all with up to date statistics as of October 2017.

Simply click on any of the infographics below to load the full size image, then right click (or hold down on mobile) on that image to download and save for your own use. You have permission to use these images. If you wish to credit the design please cite Public Health England/National Suicide Prevention Alliance. The references for each infographic can be found in the full guidance document.








Case studies

Case studies with examples of local suicide prevention work, from police and NHS initiatives, fire and rescue services to local authority mental health teams and Citizens Advice.

  1. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service – Tackling social isolation
  2. South Liverpool Citizens Advice – A practical service for vulnerable people in touch with health services
  3. West Midlands Police – Integrating suicide prevention in the West Midlands
  4. Thames Valley – Real-time suicide surveillance systems: a resource pack
Case study: tackling social isolation Case study: a practical service for vulnerable people in touch with health services
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service recognised that they were uniquely positioned to identify and engage with high-risk individuals during safety inspections. These crews initiate conversations about help-seeking, as well as supporting the dissemination of Crisis Cards and become a familiar, trusted and approachable presence that can broach other wellbeing and public health topics. South Liverpool Citizens Advice provide a social treatment option where GP’s and primary care teams can refer vulnerable people for practical support and advice on a range of issues such as finance, housing, employment and relationship breakdown.
Case study: integrating suicide prevention in the West Midlands Real-time suicide surveillance systems: a resource pack
Policing and health services have come together to provide street triage and liaison and diversion from custody services, changing how mental health is thought about and providing an integrated pathway, ensuring vulnerable people in contact with police see mental health nurses. Thames Valley’s Real-Time Suicide Surveillance System Resource Pack shares good practice in enabling local police, coroners and suicide prevention leads to react more quickly to potential deaths by suicide, including providing bereavement support.

Information sheets

Information sheets created in collaboration between the National Suicide Prevention Alliance and Public Health England.

Working with Coroners Evaluating suicide prevention activity
Explaining the role of a coroner in relation to a suicide; the purpose of an inquest, what records are available and how they can be used. Professor David Gunnell, Professor of Epidemiology, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol offers ideas on monitoring and evaluating suicide prevention activity.
Socioeconomic deprivation and suicidal behaviour  
This document looks at the various socioeconomic disadvantages that increase the risk of stress, negative life events, and a rise in suicide risk; as well as the steps that can be taken to address this increased risk.  




Suicide prevention webinar

Following the publication of guidance on local suicide prevention planning, a series of masterclasses were held across the country. This page provides a webinar version of those classes, to help any organisation better understand and apply the guidance.

The purpose of the masterclasses was to:

• introduce the new national guidance in local suicide prevention planning
• provide an overview of national progress for suicide prevention and the wider policy context for the guidance
• facilitate regional and local suicide prevention planning and improvement activity
• promote multi-agency and partnership working

To complement the classes, we also developed a series of short films setting out priority areas for action and showcasing some of the fantastic working happening around the country.

You can view the films here.

Webinar recording: Top priorities for your local suicide prevention plan

For those that were unable to attend the physical events, we also held a one-hour webinar outlining the top priorities for local suicide prevention planning and the evidence for action, as well as highlighting some resources available to people.

You can also download a copy of the presentation slides here.


Providing support after suicide services: a suite of resources

Supporting people affected by suicide is an essential part of suicide prevention and to complement the guidance for local authorities in suicide prevention planning we worked with Public Health England and the Support After Suicide Partnership to develop a suite of resources for those developing services that provide support after a suicide.

The resources provide guidance on commissioning and delivering support after a suicide (otherwise known as postvention support), as part of a wider suicide prevention strategy. Step-by-step guidance on developing, delivering and evaluating a postvention support services, and a suggested pathway of support for people affected by suicide.

The resources are primarily aimed at local authorities and commissioners but can be used by anyone setting up and delivering services for those affected by suicide.

PHE’s Support after Suicide: A guide to providing local services Developing and Delivering Local Bereavement Services Evaluating Local Bereavement Services

Providing a lifeline: Effective scrutiny of local strategies to prevent or reduce suicide

The Centre for Public Scrutiny has collaborated with the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Public Health to create a guide that aims to help councillors and local scrutiny committees build their knowledge and understanding about the context of suicide risk, prevalence and prevention.

The guide suggests 10 questions that help assess whether local suicide prevention plans, strategies or approaches are fit for purpose, proportionate to local suicide risks and rates and engage the right partners in the right actions, with ambitious but achievable outcomes.

Providing a lifeline: Effective scrutiny of local strategies to prevent or reduce suicide