Suicide Prevention

The Vision

Our aspiration is for Cheshire and Merseyside to be a region where all suicides are prevented, where people do not consider suicide as a solution to the difficulties they face and where people have hope for the future.

For more information, visit

Suicide Prevention Strategy

Preventing suicides

Preventing suicidal behaviour in the first-place is our goal. Building individual and community resilience is the sustainable approach to changing suicidal behaviour and improved mental health.

We know that men and those from more deprived neighbourhoods are less likely to seek help, that stigma can stop people voicing their concerns and yet conversely following a suicide attempt many people turn to family, friends and neighbours for support.

Key actions towards preventing suicides locally are:

  • Creating Suicide Safer Communities
  • Lived Experience Networks
  • Awareness campaigns- Stay Alive App, Kind to your mind, Let’s keep talking
  • Media work with the Samaritans
  • Suicide prevention training for all
  • Middle-aged men community programmes
  • Preventing deaths in public places
  • Preventing deaths in those bereaved by suicide

Suicide Prevention Strategy 2022-2027 Launch Event

Public health leaders and multiple agencies working across the wider health and care system in Cheshire and Merseyside have welcomed the publication of a brand new five-year strategy (above) that will aim to prevent as many suicides as possible and reduce the number of people impacted by suicides in the subregion.

The new five-year strategy was launched on Tuesday 15th November 2022 in Warrington with over 100 people attending including Local Authority, NHS, voluntary partners, professionals and members of the Cheshire and Merseyside Lived Experience Network (LEN) for Self-Harm and Suicide who were a powerful voice at the event and in the strategy development. Read more here.

The launch event was recorded and all presentations are available on our YouTube channel.

A PDF version of the presentation slides can be downloaded here.

Why is it important?

  • Preventing suicide is achievable
  • Sadly, 263 Cheshire & Merseyside residents took their own life in 2022
  • For each death at least 10 people are significantly impacted, equating to 2,630 people in 2022. But new research indicates that as many as 135 people are impacted by each suicide, as many as 35,505 people in 2022 may have been affected.

Other key areas of work

Suicide Safer Care Services

Poor mental and physical health are key risk factors for suicidal behaviour. Whilst there has been much progress in mental health and primary care to identify patients at risk and ensure their safety, more can be done. The National Confidential Inquiry (2016) reported on evidence that helps in identifying what works in lowering the suicide rate both in mental health services and across healthcare generally.

Key actions towards preventing suicides in services locally are:

  • Mental health patient’s safety
  • Self-harm prevention
  • Working links with C&M MH Crisis Care Concordat actions
  • Working links with Places of Safety provision across C&M

Support After Suicide

Those bereaved by suicide have three times the risk of dying from suicide themselves. Alleviating the distress of those bereaved or affected by suicide reduces this risk and the risk for communities of suicide clusters or contagion and promotes healthy recovery of the affected community.

Key actions towards preventing suicides in those bereaved and affected are:

  • Suicide liaison service provision
  • Peer support, such as the Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS)
  • Bereavement counselling
  • Community Response Planning

Intelligence and Research

Multi-agency intelligence sharing, learning and research provides us with a better understanding of the needs of different populations at risk of suicide. Intelligence and research driven interventions and services to prevent suicides support the optimum means of us reaching the zero suicide goal.

Key actions to improve our access to reliable and current data are:

  • Suicide Audits
  • Real Time Surveillance
  • Performance monitoring

Liverpool John Moores University Suicide & Self-harm Research Group (SSHRG)

The SSHRG looks at conducting psychological research into suicide and self-harm. It is comprised of a group of academics, research staff and postgraduate students whose research covers a wide variety of suicide and self-harm research about individuals, communities and populations.


The Suicide Prevention Partnership Board drives the strategy. The Board provides strong leadership and strategic oversight in advancing support and advocacy for suicide prevention across Cheshire & Merseyside. The Board has a multi-agency membership chaired by Ruth du Plessis, Director of Public Health, St Helens Council.

Leadership in the nine Local Authorities across Cheshire & Merseyside is provided by the Chair of each local group, supported by the work of the local authority suicide prevention leads. 

Key actions in leadership and sustaining a co-ordinated approach to suicide prevention are:

  • The Suicide Prevention Partnership Board that meets three times per year
  • Strategic engagement with the  Integrated Care System, Mental Health Programme Board and local Health & Wellbeing Boards
  • Strategic engagement with the Zero Suicide Alliance and the National Suicide Prevention Alliance
  • Oversight and co-ordination of the Task Groups

More information

DPH Lead

Ruth du Plessis, Chair of The Suicide Prevention Partnership Board and Director of Public Health for St Helens


Neil Boardman – Suicide Prevention Programme Manager, Champs Support Team

Lucia Scally – Senior Public Health Programme Manager