Hertfordshire Suicide Prevention Programme Board

Hertfordshire’s Suicide Prevention Programme Board is a multi-agency body chaired by Public Health and comprising representatives from Hertfordshire’s local police, Clinical Commissioning Groups, County Council, coroner’s office, NHS mental health trust and the voluntary and community sector. It oversees the delivery of the Hertfordshire Suicide Prevention Strategy by over 80 people from 30+ organisations through the following task and finish groups.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

The senior members of the board deal with high-level risks and blockages to work, and co-ordinates activity across the county by:

– Improving support for MH patients transitioning between care teams

– Focusing on men and boys

– Spotting the Signs

– Access to medicines

– Communications, awareness and media

– Signposting and referral

– Support for families bereaved by suicide

– Support for young people

– Performance measures and learning lessons

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What are your current priorities?

Over 200 non-GPs from 100 different organisations and teams have been on Spot the Signs training, which trains those in the public, private and voluntary sectors to identify when someone is experiencing suicidal ideation gives them practical tools to help. Spot the Signs also train GPs in suicide prevention in tailored sessions. In 2018, the aim is to reach GP practices that have yet to undergo training, and to continue to reach organisations who work with or have staff in high-risk groups for suicide.

Just Talk, aimed at teenage boys, which began in late January 2018, seeks to promote and normalise good mental health, and seeking help in times of difficulty. One of the key drivers of the campaign is the local intelligence that males 20-29 are a key suicide risk group.

The impact of suicide on families is extremely high, and they as a population are at a greatly increased risk of suicide. This group will continue work to co-ordinate the support offered by the coroners office, police, the NHS and the voluntary sector, and to identify and address any gaps in provision.

We will also be finalising and implementing quality assurance guidance for schools to become suicide-safer, including a kitemarking scheme and guidance on how to talk about suicide prevention without increasing risk amongst young people

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Gathering and analysing high-quality data from across many organisations

Measuring impact of suicide prevention activity

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