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Further steps taken in Northamptonshire towards Suicide Prevention

09 May 2024

A heart shape made from daisies

In Northamptonshire alone around 60 people take their own life each year, with the effects of suicide being devastating and the impact felt by many.

In September 2022, a refreshed Northamptonshire Suicide Prevention Strategy for 2022-2025 and action plan was launched by a variety of health, social care, and voluntary sector organisations with the aim to reduce suicide and self-harm in Northamptonshire, through a whole-county, all-age approach.

“As a partnership, we believe every death by suicide is one too many. Each of these deaths can potentially be prevented and that’s why we are working towards raising awareness of suicide prevention, making it a priority for everyone. The collaborative strategy really puts a focus on this, and the work that has been achieved in the first year is highly commendable, and truly shows the commitment and dedication from all those involved.”

Cllr Matt Golby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at West Northants Council

As part of the group's commitment, the first review and updated action plan have been completed and are available to view online with details of the progress made since launching the strategy. This review provides an update on the actions achieved in the last 18-months since the launch for each of the seven key priorities and next steps. These include:

  • A deep-dive audit on local suicide data to highlight local need has been completed with findings informing tailored interventions in the action plan. Seven local high-risk groups have been identified, including: those with substance and/or alcohol misuse, self-harm and/or previous suicide attempts, adverse events in childhood, relationship breakdown, those with a physical illness or mental illness and debt/financial problems.
  • A package of support for educational establishments in Northamptonshire has been developed in the event of a suspected death by suicide in a school community. The package provides a protocol and information on postvention/bereavement support, prevention support, guidance for parents/carers, teachers and school leads and more.
  • Developed a media reporting framework to support safe reporting of suicide in the county. 
  • A real-time surveillance system is in place, with an escalation protocol and links with safeguarding boards.
  • Mapping of risk locations in Northamptonshire to highlight locations that may require safety interventions and liaising with relevant asset owners to mitigate suicide risk.
  • Delivery of the ‘Take a Break’ sofa campaign across Northants for World Suicide Prevention Day, with West Northants Council (WNC), North Northants Council (NNC) and Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) to raise awareness of Suicide Prevention and encourage residents to talk about how they are feeling.
  • Development and delivery of the Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Training Framework to support those living and working in Northamptonshire to bring together training by a range of organisations to provide a coherent offer aimed at increasing understanding of, and aiding capacity to support mental health and wellbeing.
  • Development of a pilot package to support call handlers, in the event of a customer in mental health crisis, to support resilience building and safe signposting.
“Sadly suicide has far-reaching, and long-lasting effects, much wider even than the tragic loss of an individual’s life, which is why this work is so important. I particularly support the focus on reducing self-harm and supporting and improving the lives of people with mental health problems in our county. The first 18 months of the suicide prevention strategy has shown the incredible progress that can be made, when a whole system partnership approach is taken to the issue. I am confident this progress can continue, working together with the common goal of preventing the loss of life through suicide in Northamptonshire.”

Cllr Gillian Mercer, North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing 

The Strategy and Action Plan will continue to be reviewed to ensure continuous development and updated to ensure it aligns and follows local need and the published national guidance, Suicide prevention strategy for England 2023 to 2028, with close monitoring from the steering group.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s concern and by working in partnership as health and care organisations in Northamptonshire we hope to make a real difference together. The breadth of activity that we have delivered during the first 18-months of our strategy really highlights our collaborative commitment to suicide prevention, but we know this is just the beginning as we continue our collective work in 2024.”

Anne Rackham, Senior Responsible Officer for the Integrated Care Northamptonshire Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Collaborative

To view the Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action plan for 2022-2025 please visit: Suicide prevention in Northamptonshire | West Northamptonshire Council (

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