Highways England is the government company charged with operating, maintaining and improving England’s motorways and major A roads. Our ambition is to ensure our major roads are more dependable, durable and most importantly – safe.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
At Highways England the safety of everyone on our network matters; we recognise the wide reaching and devastating impact of suicide for both individuals and communities and the important role we can play in supporting a wider community-based approach to suicide prevention. We understand that suicide is not inevitable, it is preventable, and our vision is that no one attempts to take their life on our roads.
We aim to reduce suicide and improve support to those affected by suicide through improving our capability and collaborating with partners. We will improve the collation, analysis and sharing of data to ensure we deliver more effective and inclusive suicide prevention plans.
We will ensure we fulfil our duty of care to staff, supply chain, customers, and those in the wider community affected by suicide. We will continue to work to de-stigmatise mental health and suicide and encourage vulnerable people to seek help.
A copy of our suicide prevention strategy can be found here.
What are your current priorities?
We will ensure consistent and more accurate recording of suicide related incidents across our network. We will use our improved understanding of incidents to identify and prioritise actions for the strategic road network at a national and local level. And we will be developing a multi–agency expert panel to provide advice and undertake a check and challenge role for delivering our strategy and specific interventions.
We will work collaboratively with our partners to further develop guidance on crisis intervention techniques ensuring that they reflect best practice. We will train our staff to look out for and offer support to people who may be considering taking their own life.
We will implement data sharing processes that will allow us to share data with partners. This will improve multi-agency working and better target local interventions in a more accurate and timely manner.
What challenges are you currently facing?
We currently face challenges over data collection and determining the extent of suicide events on the strategic road network. The gathering of robust data is a challenge across many sectors and we want to improve the way we collect and share data with partnering organisations.