Suicide prevention sector led improvement programme

The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), the LGA, Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have been working together to explore the development of a public mental health support offer, starting with suicide prevention in 2019/20.


In October 2018, ADPH and LGA jointly conducted a survey with councils to identify what effective local suicide prevention planning looks like, and how national and local partnerships are working together to reduce and prevent suicide. One hundred and fifty out of 152 local authorities with responsibility for public health completed the survey. Samaritans and the University of Exeter, commissioned by ADPH and LGA with support from PHE, produced a report on local-level suicide prevention planning in England. The findings and recommendations from this report feed directly into this sector-led improvement programme.

On 17 June 2019, the Government pledged extra funding for the ADPH and LGA SLI programme to support local authorities to strengthen suicide prevention plans, under a range of measures aimed at improving support for mental health.

National support

A series of national tools, products and events available for all local areas will be designed and developed to provide wider and easier access to suicide prevention good practice, learning and existing resources.


Webinar series: January/February 2020
Masterclass: 12 March 2020, London, Mary Ward House, Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN

A webinar series and masterclass (free to attend) will provide opportunities for directors of public health and their teams to reflect upon local suicide prevention planning, learning from and sharing good practice. The masterclass will also provide the opportunity to hear from national experts and to shape the future of the programme beyond 2019/20. The agenda for the masterclass is still being formulated but the event will be chaired by Jim McManus, Vice President of ADPH, and speakers are to include Jacqui Morrissey, Assistant Director at Samaritans.

Dates and times will shortly be confirmed for the webinar series but if you would like to book a place on the masterclass, please email,


The following resources will be developed to support local authorities to strengthen suicide prevention plans:

  • Stream-lined prevention resource will be developed which directors of public health and their teams can use at a local level, improving and enabling easier access to existing national suicide prevention guidance and resources for local planning and delivery.
  • Case studies will provide detailed examples of local and regional good practice on suicide prevention.
  • ‘Must Know’ publication for councillors, will be a source of information and support for portfolio holders, raising awareness about suicide prevention key policy issues and good practice.
  • LGA national political and clinical leadership offer will include examples of suicide prevention good practice at events such as the Annual Summit, to raise awareness of suicide prevention amongst leaders across health and care.

As resources are developed they will be made available on this page.

Regional ADPH network support

Each regional ADPH network will receive a grant for SLI suicide prevention activity. This will fund coordination capacity, enabling each network to build upon strong existing suicide prevention SLI activity within the regions, reflecting regionally determined priorities.

To find out more, contact your regional ADPH SLI coordinator.

If you are unsure who this is, please email

Bespoke expert support for local areas

Bespoke support is available from the national programme team for up to 12 councils and partners, who self-identify as facing significant delivery challenges around suicide prevention.

Experts will deliver a one-day workshop in the council with partners, designed using findings from their self-assessment, tailored specifically for local need. An action plan will be produced for the local area to take forward to address local opportunities and challenges in suicide prevention.

Expressions of interest

Local authorities are invited to submit an expression of interest for bespoke support. Councils with joint suicide prevention arrangements are welcome to submit a joint expression of interest.

Whilst the submission of expression of interest does not require a formal application, it is suggested to cover the following:

  • describe the suicide prevention delivery challenge to be explored by the bespoke support
  • provide evidence of local need.

Expressions of interest should not exceed two pages.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm Friday 1 November 2019.

Expressions of interest are required to be supported and signed by the director of public health. It is also encouraged to seek the approval the public health lead member and partner organisations.

Due to the programme timescales, confirmation is required that there is local capacity for the support to be delivered by the end February 2020.

If expressions of interest exceed the current level of support, bespoke sessions will be allocated by the programme team based upon the criteria set out above.

Please submit expressions of interest to  



Katherine Mitchell, Adviser, LGA

Magdalena van der Steen, Head of Engagement, ADPH