Suicide-Safer Universities

Universities UK and PAPYRUS, the UK’s national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide, have published guidance to help university leaders prevent student suicides. At least 95 university students took their own lives in the 2016–17 academic year. This guide provides a framework to understand student suicide, mitigate risk, intervene when students get into difficulties, and respond to these tragic deaths. It sets out the steps you can take to make your community suicide-safer

Suicide-Safer Universities

Building Suicide-Safer Schools and Colleges

PAPYRUS has developed a guide to support teachers and school staff in building suicide-safer schools. The guide, which is downloadable on their webpage, provides school staff with an understanding of the most effective strategies to implement to create a suicide-safer environment. The material in the guide is designed for secondary school and college teachers and staff, but can be adapted for younger children too.

Building Suicide-Safer Schools and Colleges – downloadable for free on the PAPYRUS website

NICE Guidelines: Preventing suicide in community and custodial settings

Public Health England worked alongside the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) to launch NICE’s new guidelines for suicide prevention in community and custodial settings. The guidelines cover ways to reduce suicide and help people bereaved or affected by suicide. It aims to:

  • help local services work more effectively together to prevent suicide
  • identify and help people at risk
  • prevent suicide in places where it is currently more likely.

Preventing Suicide in Community and Custodial Settings 

Self-harm and suicide prevention frameworks

Health Education England (HEE) and the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) have launched a series of self-harm and suicide prevention frameworks.

The competency frameworks describe activities that need to be brought together to support people who self-harm and/or are suicidal.

The frameworks, which have a range of applications, overlap in terms of their content, but help describe the work that is required within different populations and contexts.

Working with children and young people Working with adults and older people
Working with the public Service users and carers


Identifying and responding to suicide clusters and contagion

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

The document 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.

Identifying and responding to suicide clusters and contagion

Samaritans media guidelines for reporting suicide

On average, more than 6,000 individuals take their own lives by suicide each year across the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). Some of these deaths attract media attention. Suicide is a complex topic and presents a distinct set of challenges for the journalists who report on it. They have to balance a range of factors including what is in the public interest and the risk of encouraging imitative behaviour. At the same time they must guard against intrusion into the grief and shock of the bereaved while considering industry regulation and codes of practice.

Media guidelines for reporting suicide

Ten things to remember when reporting suicide

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