Suicide prevention

Suicide prevention

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, and every life lost can have a long lasting and devastating impact on families, friends and communities left behind. Unfortunately, suicide is complex and rarely caused by a single factor. It encroaches across lots of areas of society therefore, in response, suicide prevention often requires a coordinated approach across professional and voluntary organisations, as well as communities themselves.

When someone takes their own life, the effect on their family and friends is devastating. Many others involved in providing support and care will feel the impact.

North Yorkshire Suicide Strategic Group

There is a need to support action locally by bringing together knowledge about groups at higher risk of suicide, applying evidence of effective interventions and highlighting resources available. In response, North Yorkshire Suicide Strategic Group has been established. This group includes representation from North Yorkshire Council, NHS Secondary Care and Mental Health Trusts, North Yorkshire Police, national organisations such as Samaritans and Papyrus, in addition to representatives from the local voluntary and community sector organisations working across the county and Network Rail. The aim of the group is to develop stronger links between organisations working in this space, in addition to overseeing the North Yorkshire suicide prevention action plan.

The development of a local suicide action plan is recommended by government and supports the  Suicide prevention strategy for England: 2023 to 2028, which was published in September 2023. The plan aims to reduce the numbers of suicides in North Yorkshire, improve support to those bereaved or affected by suicide and support people who have self-harmed.

The  Suicide prevention strategy for England: 2023 to 2028 contains a summary of the actions under these headings:

  • The improvement of data and evidence to ensure that effective, evidence-informed and timely interventions continue to be adapted.

  • Provide tailored, targeted support to priority groups, including those at higher risk. 

  • Address common risk factors linked to suicide at a population level by providing early intervention and tailored support. 

  • Promote online safety and responsible media content to reduce harms, improve support and signposting, and provide helpful messages about suicide and self-harm.

  • Provide effective crisis support across sectors for those who reach crisis point.

  • Reduce access to means and methods of suicide where this is appropriate and necessary as an intervention to prevent suicides.

  • Provide effective bereavement support to those affected by suicide.

  • Make suicide prevention everybody’s business so that we can maximise our collective impact and support to prevent suicides.

Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has published a resource to assist local organisations to prevent linked suicides in their areas, often referred to as 'suicide clusters'.

You are not alone: help is at hand for anyone bereaved by suicide.

People who have been bereaved by suicide have used their experiences to lead the revision of a support guide to help others affected by someone taking their own life.

'Help is at Hand ' provides people bereaved by suicide or other unexplained death, and for those helping them, with both emotional and practical support. The most recent official figures reveal 6,233 suicides registered in the England and Wales in 2021, and suicide has far-reaching effects among friends, family, colleagues, and the wider community. Those bereaved by a suicide are at increased risk of mental health and emotional problems and may be at higher risk of suicide themselves, so receiving the right support is essential.

For the first time individuals who have lived experience of bereaved by suicide have been the principal authors of the guide, with support from experts at Public Health England and the National Suicide Prevention Alliance. By giving editorial control to individuals with lived experience of bereavement the updated 'Help is at Hand' provides more relevant and personal guidance to others in this traumatic situation.

Download Help is at Hand - support after someone may have died by suicide

Samaritans logo.PNG

You can talk to the Samaritans any time you like, in your own way, and off the record - about whatever's getting to you. You don't have to be suicidal.

Telephone 116123 or see the Samaritans  website

Useful documents

Suicides audit in North Yorkshire 2017 - An audit of deaths due to suicide in North Yorkshire in 2017.

Suicides audit in North Yorkshire 2016 - An audit of deaths due to suicide in North Yorkshire in 2016

Suicides audit in North Yorkshire 2015 - An audit of deaths due to suicide in North Yorkshire in 2015

Suicides in North Yorkshire - An audit of deaths due to suicide in North Yorkshire between 2010 and 2014


Suicide Prevention Strategy for England 2023-2028

Preventing suicide in England: one year on - first annual report on the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives

Suicide prevention: identifying and responding to suicide clusters - Public Health England has published a new resource to assist local organisations to prevent linked suicides in their areas often referred to as 'suicide clusters'.