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Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan

Suicide has a devastating impact on individuals and their families. This Government is fully committed to reducing the incidence of suicide and supporting people to get the help they need. This Workplan sets out action across Government to help deliver that commitment.

In 2012, the Government published the cross-Government National Suicide Prevention Strategy, which was updated in 2017, to strengthen delivery of its key areas for action, including expanding the scope of the strategy to include addressing self-harm as an issue in its own right. The National Suicide Prevention Strategy is implemented by partners across Government working individually and collectively to address suicide prevention within their sector and to ensure all partners remain committed to implementing the Strategy’s aims to reduce suicides everywhere.

In 2016, the Health Select Committee (HSC) conducted an inquiry into suicide prevention, with the final report published in March 2017. We welcomed the HSC report, and published the Government’s response to the committee in July 2017. The HSC made a number of important recommendations for Government, and we are committed to taking forward many of those recommendations.

One of the key recommendations from the Committee was the need for improvements to the implementation and governance of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, with the need for a “clear implementation strategy, with strong national leadership, clear accountability, and regular and transparent external scrutiny”.

To address this recommendation, the Government’s response to the HSC committed to the implementation of a Cross-Government Workplan to support delivery of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. This is the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which commits every area of Government to taking action on suicide and sets out clear deliverables and timescales to monitor progress against our key commitments. The new Minister for Suicide Prevention, announced in October 2018, will oversee the implementation of the Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, to drive implementation of the National Strategy.

We have also established a National Suicide Prevention Strategy Delivery Group (NSPSDG). The NSPSDG comprises lead policy officials across Government and delivery agencies, including the voluntary and charitable sector through the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA), to track, monitor and report on the implementation of the Workplan.

The NSPSDG is responsible for leading the co-ordination and supporting delivery of cross-Government actions in the National Suicide Prevention Strategy, as well as the recommendations in the Government’s response to the HSC.

The NSPSDG reports regularly to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group (NSPSAG), chaired by the Suicide Prevention Minister. As the Workplan evolves, updates will continue to be published annually alongside future progress reports to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.

The Chair of the NSPSDG will meet with its members individually during 2019 to discuss their Department’s work streams and progress against commitments outlined in the Workplan.