The Department of Health has launched a new cross-government strategy ‘Preventing suicide in England’ on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2012.
The main objectives of the strategy are to a reduce the suicide rate in the general population in England; and ensure better support for those bereaved or affected by suicide.
The strategy identifies six key areas for action to support delivery of these objectives, including:
- Reduce the risk of suicide in key high-risk groups
- Tailor approaches to improve mental health in specific groups
- Reduce access to the means of suicide
- Provide better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide
- Support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour
- Support research, data collection and monitoring.
This all-age suicide prevention strategy builds on the successes of the 2002 suicide prevention strategy. Real progress has been made in reducing the already relatively low suicide rate to record low levels. But there are new challenges to be addressed and at a time when we have economic pressures on the general population, it is particularly timely to revisit a national strategy that has demonstrated clear progress.
The new strategy has been informed by a consultation on the draft suicide prevention strategy in 2011. It supports action by bringing together knowledge about groups at higher risk of suicide, applying evidence of effective interventions and highlighting resources available. This will support local decision-making, while recognising the autonomy of local organisations to decide what works in their area.