We are an alliance of over 1000 public, private, voluntary and community organisations in England who care about suicide prevention and are willing to take action to reduce suicide and support those affected by suicide.
Who we are
The NSPA’s vision is that fewer lives are lost to suicide and anyone affected by suicide receives the best possible support.
Our mission is to get all parts of society working together to take action to reduce suicide and improve the support for those bereaved by suicide.
The NSPA and our history
The NSPA was formally constituted in September 2013 but originally evolved from the Call to Action for Suicide Prevention launched in July 2011.
A Call to Action
Suicide continues to be a major public health issue, with more than 4,000 people dying in England by suicide each year. Death by suicide is an individual tragedy, and also can have a devastating effect on families and communities.
Part of the difficulty of preventing suicide is that there are so many factors that can contribute to suicidal behaviour, and for this reason there is a need for a cross-sector approach. In order to reduce death by suicide, as well as reduce suicidal feelings and suicidal behaviour, we need collaboration, coordination and action from many stakeholders across all sectors.
For this reason Samaritans, with a grant award from the Department of Health, launched a ‘Call to Action for Suicide Prevention’ in July 2011.
The launch event held in London was attended by (amongst others), former Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow MP and the Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, Professor Louis Appleby. The launch of the Call to Action coincided with the Government’s consultation on a new national outcomes strategy for suicide prevention in England, and recognised the need to join up the efforts from many organisations and agencies across sectors if we are to achieve a reduction in suicidal feelings and behaviour and deaths by suicide.
The Call to Action emphasised a co-ordinated approach from Government, public services, voluntary groups, the private sector and communities, in order to better support people at risk of suicide. It mobilised organisations from across sectors, identifying shared priorities and highlighting key areas for action.
Through a series of workshops and events, the Call to Action culminated in the development of the ‘Call to Action Declaration’, that was jointly launched with the Government’s new National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England. The launch took place on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10th September 2012, at a House of Commons reception hosted by the Minister of State for Care and Support Services, Norman Lamb MP.
Following successful collaboration between partners in the development and launch of the Call to Action Declaration, members confirmed they wanted to continue as a standing alliance of organisations, committed to reducing suicide and progressing the shared aims identified via the Call to Action.
This standing alliance is what is now the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.
The difference we aim to make
We aim to work together with our network of organisations and individuals to bring about the following outcomes:
- Reducing stigma: We want all parts of society talking about suicide and taking action to maintain good mental health, so that it is as normal as talking about and maintaining physical health.
- Encouraging help-seeking: We want more people who are experiencing emotional distress to seek help before they become suicidal.
- Providing the appropriate support: We want to ensure that when people in emotional distress seek help, they receive appropriate support from the people or organisations they approach and that they are offered appropriate options.
- Reducing access to means: We want it to be harder for people experiencing severe emotional distress to have access to the means to take their own life.
- Reducing the impact of suicide: We want to ensure that people affected by suicide get the support they need to cope with the impact on their life.
- Improving data & evidence: We want there to be better official data about suicide in England and more evidence about effective suicide prevention. Those working in suicide prevention should find it easier to obtain this data and evidence.
- Working together: We want organisations with an interest in suicide prevention collaborating with each other to make a bigger difference.
How we work
The NSPA believes that everyone has a role to play in reducing suicide and supporting those affected by suicide. It seeks to demonstrate this by bringing together organisations from across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors that are willing to take action.
As a membership organisation, the alliance seeks to facilitate the development and sharing of good practice, as well as encourage the collaboration and joint working of members in order to affect real change in this area.
You can read more about the NSPA’s priorities for 2019-21 in our Strategic Framework which has been developed in consultation with the NSPA Steering Group and incorporates input from the wider membership.
The NSPA is governed by a Steering Group, led by two Co-Chairs and operates according to agreed Terms of Reference
As a cross-sector alliance with a wide variety of member organisations, it is essential that the NSPA and the work it undertakes represents the views and collective values of its membership.
The most up to date version of the NSPA’s Terms of Reference can be found here.
David has worked in the charity sector for most of his career. He has worked across many functions including project management, health promotion and advice in the HIV, respiratory and mental health sectors. Before joining NSPA, David also led the Service Redesign and Improvement Consultancy at Diabetes UK. Stakeholder engagement and a keen interest in improving well-being have been common threads throughout his 20-year career in the third sector.
Jess is passionate about amplifying the voice(s) of people with lived experience of suicide to influence suicide prevention services and strategy. She has spent the past 14 years working in the social care and voluntary sector, and has her own personal experience of living with suicidal thoughts, self harm and of using mental health services.
Prior to joining the NSPA, Jess spent 7 years working for national mental health charity, Together for Mental Wellbeing, in various roles, including Peer Support Practice Manager and Lived Experience Leadership Manager.
Her time at Together included developing organisational approaches to service user leadership and peer support, and overseeing the development of 18 local peer support services across community, residential and criminal justice settings. She has developed and run numerous lived experience-led training programmes and has collaborated across the voluntary sector and the NHS to promote good practice in lived experience involvement, leadership and peer support.
Juliette has worked in the charity sector for the past 15 years in a variety of fundraising and marketing roles, most recently at Shooting Star Chase as Supporter Care Manager, where she was responsible for setting up a new team, building supporter relationships and navigating new fundraising regulation. She has also worked at Suzy Lamplugh Trust, VSO and Age UK.
Jill has worked as a marketing communications professional for over 30 years across both corporate and charity sectors – from the performing arts to horticulture and from supply chain to small business advertising. She is passionate about giving charities and service-led businesses a strong, collective voice that draws on the whole team or community. Jill is also a singer, a keen gardener and nature lover, and writes a blog about hip dysplasia. She is also a Trustee of a musical charity.
The Steering Group
Grassroots Suicide Prevention – Rachael Swann
Rachael started her career as a solicitor before moving into senior leadership and non-executive roles in the Higher Education, charity and housing sectors and is now the Chief Executive of Grassroots Suicide Prevention. GSP’s vision is A future where more lives are saved from suicide that empowers people to help saves lives from suicide through connecting, educating, and campaigning nationally.
Rachael has specialised in providing VCSE services to a range of diverse communities including; homelessness, young carers and carers supporting those with a learning disability, autism, parent carers, life limiting illness, mental health issues and drugs and alcohol misuse.
Rachael’s experience has included leading organisations through periods of change, new ventures in the UK and overseas, external quality assessment, restructures, and major IT projects. Rachael is also the VCSE representative on Mental Health for Brighton & Hove and the VCSE representative on Health and Wellbeing for Adur and Worthing and a Trustee of Crossroads Care in Brighton & Hove, a leading provider of support for carers; helping carers to make a life of their own outside caring.
Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership – Adele Owen QPM
Adele is the Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention & Bereavement Support Programme Manager taking forward the city region’s suicide prevention strategy. This includes leading on the award winning Shining a Light on Suicide Campaign (www.shiningalightonsuicide.org.uk ), Real Time Surveillance and over-seeing the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service. Adele also coordinates the Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention Multi-Agency Steering Group which includes a variety of agencies, charities and individuals affected by suicide.
Prior to this role Adele was a serving police officer and Force Mental Health Lead for Greater Manchester Police, receiving the Queen’s Police Medal for distinguished service in 2018.
Cameron Grant Memorial Trust – Evan Grant
Evan is Co-founder and Chair of Cameron Grant Memorial Trust, a mental health awareness and suicide prevention charity established in memory of his son Cameron who took his own life at the age of 21. When Cameron died nobody knew he was ill yet, in a letter he left, he described suffering from symptoms of depression for over 7 years. Because Cameron chose to suffer in silence, Cameron Grant Memorial Trust works to encourage all in mental distress, and especially young people, to speak up and ask for help.
In early 2021 Evan retired from IBM after a 35-year career in sales, marketing, operations and programme management. Evan is a Mental Health First Aid instructor and has delivered training in IBM and other organisations.
Suicide&Co – Amelia Wrighton
Amelia is the CEO and Co-Founder of Suicide&Co, a charity set up in July 2020 to support those bereaved by suicide through their national counselling service and listening helpline. Amelia’s background is in the corporate world working in media, marketing and new business, but her passion now lies within mental health and the charity sector! Through working at Suicide&Co Amelia is integrated into suicide prevention sector and is thrilled to be part of the NSPA steering group and excited to contribute to the fantastic work with NSPA does.
Lived Experience representative – Emma Williams
Emma is an NSPA Lived Experience Influencer with personal experiences of suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and of living with poor mental health since childhood.
Previously a practicing Chartered Civil Engineer, Emma now devotes her professional life to mental health anti-stigma work having experienced first-hand the positive difference that breaking the silence around the subject of mental illness can have, including suicide prevention.
Whether someone is experiencing mental illness or not, suicidal thoughts and behaviours can potentially affect us all, and stigma is a huge barrier to suicide prevention. Emma believes that by opening up the conversation about suicide prevention in a safe and purposeful way, together we can reduce the devastating impact of suicide on all our lives.
Lived Experience representative – Dennis Baldwin
Dennis Baldwin is the ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’ Project Manager at ‘’Start’. ‘Start’ is a therapeutic creative arts and horticulture service in Salford.
Dennis has over 16 years’ project management and delivery experience within the third sector, within both primary and secondary health service settings. He is now leading the multiple award winning ‘Reach Out; Start to End Suicide’ campaign which commemorates those lost through suicide, builds resilience within our community, ends stigma and save lives being lost to suicide.
Dennis is a survivor of multiple suicide attempts and lives with anxiety and depression.
Department of Health and Social Care – Gareth Owen
The Department of Health and Social Care leads the cross government work on the national suicide prevention strategy. The Department acts as secretariat to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, and funds the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.
Kent County Council – Tim Woodhouse
Tim is the Kent and Medway STP Suicide Prevention Programme Manager (based in Kent County Council’s Public Health team). For the last five years he has coordinated the Kent and Medway Suicide Prevention Multi-Agency Steering Group which includes a variety of agencies, charities and individuals affected by suicide.
With his team, Tim designed and implemented the innovative Release the Pressure campaign, which aims to reduce the number of suicides in Kent by encouraging anyone who is feeling under pressure to phone a free-phone helpline (with trained staff available 24 hours a day 7 days a week). www.releasethepressure.uk
Rethink Mental Illness – Brian Dow ( NSPA Co-Chair)
Brian joined Rethink Mental Illness in November 2014 having spent the previous fifteen years working for a range of well-known charities including Shelter, RNID and, most recently, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Prior to that he was a broadcast journalist working with both the BBC and the commercial radio sector. In addition he is Chief Executive of Mental Health UK, an alliance of four charities across the UK.
Brian has family experience of suicide and is interested in advancing our understanding of the connection between mental ill health and suicide.
Samaritans – Jacqui Morrissey (NSPA Co-Chair)
Jacqui joined Samaritans in 2014 and is Assistant Director for its Research and Influencing work, with over twenty years’ experience in the voluntary sector working to improve the lives of vulnerable people. Jacqui is responsible for Samaritans policy, public affairs and campaigning work, striving to ensure that fewer people die by suicide. Jacqui also leads Samaritan’s research and evaluation work, putting in place a new research strategy in 2017. She has led on the development of recent publications including NSPA and PHE’s suicide prevention planning guidance for local authorities and Samaritans’ Dying from Inequality report. Samaritans is pleased to host the NSPA and proud to be its Co-Chair.
Support After Suicide Partnership – Fergus Crow
The Support After Suicide Partnership is a special interest group of the NSPA, and is a network of organisations that support people who have been bereaved or affected by suicide.