West Northamptonshire Council

West Northamptonshire is a unitary authority area covering part of the ceremonial county of Northamptonshire, England, created in 2021. By far the largest settlement in West Northamptonshire is the county town of Northampton. Its other significant towns are Daventry, Brackley and Towcester; the rest of the area is predominantly agricultural villages.

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

As a partnership, the Northamptonshire Suicide Prevention Steering Group believe that any death by suicide is one too many. Each death can potentially be prevented therefore suicide prevention is a priority for everyone. The refreshed Northamptonshire Suicide Prevention Strategy and action plan for 2022-2025 aims to reduce suicide and self-harm in Northamptonshire, through a whole-county, all-age approach. Our vision: We aim to achieve a 10% reduction in annual deaths by suicide in Northamptonshire from 2022 to 2025. We will aim to do this by improving our understanding and awareness of suicide risk, and by promoting and improving our local services and support.

What are your current priorities?

1. Reduce the risk of suicide in key high-risk groups
2. Tailor approaches to improve mental health in specific groups
3. Reduce access to the means of suicide
4. Provide better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide
5. Support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour
6. Support research, data collection and monitoring
7. Reduce the rates of self-harm as a key indicator of suicide risk.

What challenges are you currently facing?

West Northamptonshire is currently exploring local data to enhance understanding of the local situation, which will support in informing future priorities.