Public health leaders and multiple agencies working across the wider health and care system in Cheshire and Merseyside have welcomed the publication of a brand new five-year strategy that will aim to prevent as many suicides as possible and reduce the number of people impacted by suicides in the subregion.
At an event held on Tuesday 15th November in Warrington, over 100 people including Local Authority, NHS, voluntary partners, professionals and members of the Cheshire and Merseyside Lived Experience Network for Self-Harm and Suicide have welcomed the publication of the new Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Strategy.
The Strategy has been created in close collaboration with those who have personal experience of suicide, as well as stakeholders and partners from across the private, public and third sectors, to ensure it meets their needs as much as possible.
Sadly, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in Cheshire and Merseyside there were 278 registered deaths by suicide in 2021, which may have affected over 37,500 people due to the knock-on impact that suicides have on the people around them.
Supported by data, evidence, research and experiences, the strategy’s aspiration is for Cheshire and Merseyside to be a region where all suicides are prevented, where people do not consider suicide as a solution to the difficulties they face and where people have hope for the future.
The strategy for 2022 – 2027 identifies risks and issues that need to be addressed, along with vulnerable groups that are the most affected. As such the key actions for Cheshire and Merseyside are:
- Leadership and governance ensuring an effective partnership and collaborative approach taking account of lived experience
- Prevention focusing on awareness, skills and knowledge, supporting suicide prevention in other strategies, communication and engagement
- Intervention focusing on training and safety planning across the organisations, working to improve self-harm support and pathways, improving access to mental health and social support, and ensuring implementation of safer care
- Postvention focusing on bereavement services including specific suicide, postvention support and working with the media
- Data, intelligence, evidence and research focusing on better data capture of the risks and intelligence on the local and national picture, collating evidence on interventions that work and supporting research where there are known gaps.
To ensure that Cheshire and Merseyside’s residents are at the heart of this strategy, members of the local Lived Experience Network for self-harm and suicide prevention have been involved throughout the production of the strategy.
One member of the lived experience network, not named for confidentiality reasons, commented:
“I have found it a positive experience helping to develop the new suicide prevention strategy. I have been able to give my views on what the priorities should be as someone who has been affected by suicide and self-harm. It’s so important that we support people in crisis and those at risk.”
The development of the Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Strategy for 2022 to 2027 has been led by the Champs Public Health Collaborative, Partner organisations who have been involved in the development include NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, and local charitable organisations including PAPYRUS and Wirral Mind.
Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health for St Helens, and Cheshire and Merseyside’s Lead Director of Public Health for Suicide Prevention, said:
“I am pleased to see the new strategy published and would like to thank everyone involved, especially members of the Lived Experience Network and all the partner agencies. The support we have had with this has been invaluable and I am so grateful for giving us their time and experience.
“With the increase in cost of living and post pandemic, now more than ever we need to keep up our collective efforts to prevent suicide. It is only by working together that we can make a difference.”
To find out more about this work and read Cheshire and Merseyside’s Suicide Prevention Strategy for 2022 to 2027, click here.
To learn more about the Cheshire and Merseyside Lived Experience Network for suicide and self-harm prevention, click here.
Mental Health Support
Samaritans – Phone: 116 123
PAPYRUS – Phone: 0800 068 4141
CALM – Phone: 0800 58 58 58
CALM Webchat (5pm – midnight)
Grassroots – StayAlive App
Local Crisis Lines – https://no-more.co.uk/need-help-now/