Suffolk suicide prevention Steering Group

We are the Steering Group for the Suffolk suicide prevention strategy. The steering group is responsible for implementing the local action plan for Suffolk as part of the Department of Health & Social Care’s Suicide Prevention Strategy for England (2012), and Public Health England’s Suicide Prevention: developing a local action plan (2016). We are also responsible for Public Health England’s Support after a Suicide: a guide to providing local services (2017).

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

The steering group is responsible for implementing the local action plan for Suffolk. Suffolk Public Health commissions research and services, and develops social marketing and other communications. However, the Steering group includes providers within Council provided and commissioned services, other departments besides Public Health, police and coroner, schools, primary and secondary care, Mind, Samaritans, mental health trusts, user parent and carer forums, advocates, Healthwatch, and other community and voluntary sectors.

Norfolk and Suffolk share a foundation trust for mental health services. Part of Suffolk is covered by a clinical commissioning group that overlaps with Norfolk (Great Yarmouth & Waveney). Its local district and borough councils are currently merging into super-councils (East and West, matching the other CCGs). Ipswich and Colchester hospital trusts are merging across the Essex border, and a new NHS footprint joins North East Essex CCG with those of Suffolk.

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What are your current priorities?

Crisis management for those affected, surviving or bereaved by suicide. Using that process to feed into promotion, prevention and wider mental health and wellbeing.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

The reality that suicide prevention is not a health- or social care or education-based matter alone. It’s social action and responsibility.

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