Cheshire & Merseyside is a region where suicides are eliminated, where people do not consider suicide as a solution to the difficulties they face. A region that supports people at a time of personal crisis and builds individual and community resilience for improved lives.
Suicide is preventable yet in England 13 people kill themselves every day; one person every 90 minutes in the UK. The impact on family, friends, workplaces, schools and communities can be devastating; it carries a huge financial burden for the local economy and contributes to worsening inequalities. Friends and relatives of people who die by suicide have a 1 in 10 risk of making a suicide attempt after their loss & and they experience severe effects on their health, quality of life, ability to function well at work and in their personal lives.
Acting to eliminate preventable deaths is a public health concern. There is no single cause and no single solution to suicide, but a requirement for joint, collaborative effort utilising evidence-based interventions, intelligence and a drive to eradicate this preventable death. Champs Public Health Collaborative coordinates the joint actions for Cheshire & Merseyside to prevent suicide through the NO MORE Suicide Strategy. The Strategy and details of the organisational structure and governance can be found at www.no-more.co.uk
This 2017 Update of the NO MORE Suicide strategy is an all-age suicide prevention strategy, recognising that suicide and suicidal risk varies across the life course and that prevention and age-appropriate interventions are particularly important. The 2017 update increases the focus on inequalities, men, children and young people, self-harm and safer care.
The ambition of reaching zero suicides for Cheshire & Merseyside will be arrived at by attaining four outcomes:
1.Suicide Safer Community
The ten pillars of the Suicide Safer Community Framework are embedded throughout the NO MORE Suicide Strategy. A revised Framework was issued by Living Works in 2017 and progress with the new model is underway to submit for accreditation by December 2017.
2.Suicide Safer Care
All 12 Cheshire & Merseyside Clinical Commissioning Groups signed up to the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat and the Five Year Forward View Mental Health Programme has a suicide prevention workstream. All three Mental Health Trusts have reviewed Safe Care in their in-patient units and have a learning set to progress best-practice.
3.Support After Suicide
Support is accessible for those who are exposed to suicide via a collaboratively commissioned Suicide Liaison Service AMPARO which aims to alleviate the distress of those bereaved, prevent copycat suicides, reduce the economic cost and support a community response to any suicide clusters/ contagion.
A Community Response Plan was developed in 2016 that can be activated by local suicide prevention groups. This provides guidance on identifying potential clusters and how to provide an immediate response in supporting communities, workplaces and schools.
4.Integrated Suicide Prevention Network.
The NO MORE Suicide Board acts as an effective Suicide Prevention Partnership that meets three times annually.
A Suicide Audit Toolkit was developed in May 2016 providing guidance on conducting suicide audits, a data pro-forma and spreadsheet that enables all 9 local areas to pool their information.
A Real Time Surveillance system has been co-produced with the Cheshire & Merseyside coroners. The system or partnership agreement enables any death where the circumstances suggest suicide may be the cause, to be notified and where appropriate responded to in a timely way.
The Samaritans media guidelines have been shared with local media providers and reminders have been issued on just a few occasions when local papers have not followed the guidelines.
Five task areas are identified that contribute to the four outcomes:
- Safer Care
- Support After Suicide
Read the 2017 Update of the NO MORE Suicide strategy for more indepth information.
Strategy resources and supporting information on activities for each of the five task areas will be available shortly.
Champs Public Health Collaborative are host for the Cheshire Merseyside Suicide Prevention Network which is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA). You can view the dedicated page on the NSPA website here
Councillor Gittins, Head of Cheshire West and Chester Council is the Cheshire & Merseyside champion for Suicide Prevention