New four-year Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Action Plan aims to reduce Cheshire and Merseyside’s suicide rate

Working to prevent as many suicides as possible and reduce the number of people impacted by suicides in the subregion, the Collaborative has published the Cheshire & Merseyside Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Action Plan 2023 – 2027.

The action plan has been designed to help deliver the Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The purpose of the action plan is to provide a multi-agency framework for action across the life-course to prevent avoidable loss of life through suicide.

It draws on local experience, local services, research and evidence, on preventing suicide and promoting mental health and wellbeing in Cheshire and Merseyside.

The action plan has a specific focus on self-harm in relation to suicide risk, recognising that the relationship between the two is complex.

The action plan will support the Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Strategy’s mission which is to:

  • Build individual and community resilience to improve lives and prevent people falling into crisis by tackling the risk factors for suicide.
  • Support people who experience a time of personal crisis.
  • Create an environment where anyone who needs help knows where to get it and feel able to access that help.
  • Continue our commitment to build suicide safer communities in Cheshire and Merseyside.
  • Tackle the underlying risk factors for suicide.

Some of the actions included in the action plan are:

  • Develop a network to explore the links with Domestic Abuse and suicide risk to highlight the issues and actions to mitigate risks.
  • Deliver public awareness mental health campaigns (including self-harm and suicide prevention), co-developed with key groups and those with lived experience that target at-risk groups, reduce stigma, and encourage people to seek support.
  • Work collaboratively to improve self-harm pathways.
  • Improve access to appropriate suicide bereavement support and counselling when appropriate.

Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health for St Helens and Lead Director for Suicide Prevention

Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health for St Helens, and Cheshire and Merseyside’s Lead Director of Public Health for Suicide Prevention, said:

“With this new action plan, we can work closer together with our partners across the system and focus our collective efforts to prevent suicide.

“Sadly, around 200 people take their own life each year across Cheshire and Merseyside and for every suicide there can be over 100 people impacted. By working together, we can make a difference, save lives and improve the health and wellbeing of many.”

The Cheshire and Merseyside Suicide Prevention Partnership Board will work together on the coordination of the integrated multi-agency work on the delivery of the action plan, which aims to contribute to a reduction in the numbers of people that take their own life by suicide and to help tackle the underlying risk factors for suicide.

To read the action plan or Cheshire and Merseyside’s Suicide Prevention Strategy for 2022 to 2027, click here.