View the full Suicide Prevention SLI Prospectus 2019-20 here
The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), the Local Government Association (LGA), Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have been working together to explore the development of a public mental health support offer, starting with suicide prevention.
In October 2018, ADPH and LGA jointly conducted a survey with councils to identify what effective local suicide prevention planning looks like, and how national and local partnerships are working together to reduce and prevent suicide. One hundred and fifty out of 152 local authorities with responsibility for public health completed the survey.
Samaritans and the University of Exeter, commissioned by ADPH and LGA with support from PHE, produced a report on local-level suicide prevention planning in England. Findings from the report were drawn from the survey research, qualitative interviews with suicide prevention leads, and qualitative analysis of local suicide prevention plans. The findings and recommendations from this report feed directly into the sector-led improvement (SLI) programme outlined in this prospectus.
The survey results show that SLI suicide prevention activity is already happening in around one third of councils and 88 per cent of respondents would welcome support from LGA and ADPH to further drive improvement. On 17 June 2019, the Government pledged extra funding for the ADPH and LGA SLI programme to support local authorities to strengthen suicide prevention plans, undera range of measures aimed at improving support for mental health. Based upon the findings from the selfassessment survey, corresponding report, and drawing upon LGA and ADPH’s extensive SLI experience across different policy areas, the following support is available 2019/20:
- a series of tools, products and events to provide wider and easier access to good practice and learning
- regional support to build capacity for SLI activity, targeting a larger number of councils who could further strengthen an already solid approach to suicide prevention with less intensive support
- bespoke expert support to help the relatively small number of local authorities selfidentifying as facing significant delivery challenges around suicide prevention.
Through the regional support and case studies in particular, the important role of other voluntary, public and private sector organisations will be reflected. Support through this programme will complement existing SLI activity and suicide prevention activity at sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) level. The LGA and ADPH will work with PHE and NHS England regional suicide prevention leads to link activity.
The programme will address the particular needs of local communities, including any groups that may require tailored approaches for suicide prevention, where relevant for local demographics. Evaluation will be built in from the outset, but it is noted it will take time to understand the impact of SLI activity on the effectiveness of local suicide prevention plans and approaches. It is intended that this will be a three-year programme (funding dependent). In future years, should this programme extend, the SLI activity will broaden out to public mental health.
For more on the policy context of suicide prevention, see Suicide Prevention: a guide for local authorities.