National Probation Service – Manchester

The National Probation Service is a statutory criminal justice service that supervises high-risk offenders released into the community. Our priority is to protect the public by the effective rehabilitation of high risk offenders, by tackling the causes of offending and enabling individuals to turn their lives around. We recognise the multiple difficulties facing offenders including feelings of hopelessness. We are committed to ensuring we respond in a compassionate and effective way to support the individuals we work with in managing their emotions in an appropriate way.

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

Our priority is in trying to ensure our staff teams have the appropriate knowledge and skills to support individuals who feel suicidal. Our aim is to equip staff with an understanding of how individuals may present, to give them the confidence to ask questions around suicide ideation and to support the individuals in making informed decisions to access the right help. We also aim to ensure staff respond in a compassionate, hopeful way when supporting individuals who feel suicidal.

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What are your current priorities?

Introduce and establish Approved Premises Suicide Prevention Champions in Approved Premises in London

– Approved Premises offer residential provision to selected high risk offenders in order to provide enhanced levels of protection to the public and reduce the likelihood of further offending. The London Approved Premises Suicide Prevention Champion (APSPC) role is considered pivotal in preventing self-inflicted deaths within Approved Premises (AP). It supports the implementation of actions and requirements outlined in the National Approved Premises Manual (2011) and the NPS-London Approved Premises Reducing Self-Inflicted Deaths Strategy-Action Plan (2013-20).Establish effective monitoring and information gathering on service users at risk of suicide across NPS.

– Design & deliver Suicide and Intentional Self Injury Awareness Training to NPS staff and managers.

– Support the development and implementation of any distinct guidance and procedures to inform the assessment and management of risk of suicide and Intentional Self-Injury (ISI)

– Develop and support the implementation of Divisional NPS Approved Premises Reducing Self-Inflicted Deaths Strategies including the introduction of Approved Premises Suicide Prevention Champions to all Approved Premises.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

As an organisation our focus is on public protection through the management of risk and as such, at times the need to assess risk to others can mean that risks to self and a focus on welfare and emotional well-being can be de-prioritised. Also, staff teams are working to full capacity and the risk of burn out exists and so without appropriate support and supervision, staff members ability and capacity to focus on the welfare of others has the potential to be compromised.

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