Oxfordshire County Council

Oxfordshire County Council public health team leads on mental health and suicide prevention for Oxfordshire County Council.

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

Oxfordshire County Council’s Public Health team acts as a central point for suicide prevention locally and brings many organisations together through our Suicide Multi-Agency and Prevention Concordat groups. We utilise real-time surveillance data to monitor suicide deaths and use this to highlight priority areas of work.

We are currently reviewing our suicide prevention strategy and mental health and wellbeing framework, which will act as a guide for the coming years. We are not afraid to try new things and have recently been involved in setting up The Oxfordshire Men’s Health Partnership, which aims to reduce male health inequalities. We also commission a range of health and wellbeing services, including services for children and young people and adults.

What are your current priorities?

• Reviewing and refreshing our suicide prevention strategy and mental health and wellbeing frameworks
• Increasing the amount of intelligence we gather from deaths inquests and using this to improve our recording on our real-time surveillance system
• Working with local universities to address student mental health
• Implement and monitor several new contracts including a suicide prevention and mental health training offer for Oxfordshire.

What challenges are you currently facing?

• Suicide rates
• Gaps in our data and knowledge
• Children and young people’s mental wellbeing and self-harm
• Ensuring suicide prevention efforts cover a very large county
• Improving the mental wellbeing of several key groups including middle aged men, people in the perinatal period and students