Suicide Safer Communities

Suicide Safer Communites are a ground up approach to changing public attitudes about suicide. We aim to;

Reduce the stigma, challenge myths, and get people talking about suicide

Increase understanding of when someone is at risk of suicide

Raise awareness of how to practically support someone and help them stay safe

Increase knowledge of help and resources available for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Stigma still surrounds suicide, and it can stop people reaching out for help, and stop people offering help. No one should have to struggle alone with suicidal thoughts.

Every Life Matters Suicide Safer Communities projects involve;

  1. Suicide Prevention Awareness Raising and Campaigning throughout our local communities and media
  2. Supporting Grassroots Community Action, empowering everyone to make a difference
  3. Delivery of a range of Suicide Prevention Training across the community
  4. Targeting training and awareness raising at high risks groups and communities
  5. Community Suicide Bereavement Support and awareness raising
  6. Developing localised cross community Suicide Prevention Action Plans



Suicide is everyone’s business.

On average we lose one person every week to death by suicide in Cumbria. More than double the number who die on our counties roads.

Cumbria’s suicide rates remain stubbornly higher than the national average, and a disproportionate amount of these deaths are also focused on the West coast of Cumbria.

And one in five Cumbrian residents will have thoughts of suicide, and one in fifteen will attempt suicide, at some point in their life.

No one should have to struggle alone with suicidal thoughts.

Very importantly, around three quarters of people who die by suicide are not in contact with any mental health services in the year leading up to their death, meaning suicide prevention needs to be community wide concern.

It is friends, family, work colleagues, neighbours and our network of community and voluntary organisations, not just those in NHS services, who have an important part to play in saving lives. Suicide is everyone’s business.

Understanding suicide, getting training and knowing how you can help, can make a difference.

We know that this knowledge and confidence trickles down into real time, real life moments of genuine help, intervention and support out in the community for those who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

And some of these moments may be genuinely lifesaving.

Nearly 6,000 suicides occurred in the UK in 2017. This figure means there is one death by suicide every two hours. Suicide is also the leading cause of death of men under 45, and of young people, in the UK. Office for National Statistics

Creating Suicide Safer Communities

Community Action

At the heart of the safer communities approach is grassroots Community Action against suicide. Bringing together, and building relationships between, individuals and organisations from a wide cross section of the local community who have an interest in reducing suicide. Empowering and facilitating people to do something practical about preventing suicide, no matter how small.

Raising Awareness

Ongoing Campaigning across local  media focused on key prevention messages, raising awareness of suicide risk, dispelling common myths and misperceptions about suicide, increasing understanding of the range of support available for someone at risk of suicide and how to practically support someone who may be at risk of suicide.

Training Programme

Suicide Safer Communites will be supported by delivery of a range of accredited suicide prevention training courses at a local level, available as both in-house sessions for local community, faith, third, public and private sector organisations and as ongoing open access sessions for the general public, and widely advertised across the community.

Focused Intervention

Where there are have been high incidences of suicides in a particular geographic or demographic community we will focus our project resources, actively targeting training at key gatekeepers and peer supporters, developing suicide first aid networks and promoting awareness of suicide bereavement support.

Community Support

Every suicide affects a number of people directly and often many others indirectly. We will work in local communities where there has been significant bereavement by suicide to provide information via local media and public events to help people understand the impact of bereavement by suicide, normalise common grief responses and the right of everyone affected to grieve, and be aware of bereavement information and support services locally/nationally.

Localised Strategy

Working with a wide range of individuals and organisations to support development of local grassroots sucide prevention action plans in each District. Led and delivered the local community.

Our Key Messages

Suicides can be prevented

The majority of suicides are preventable and people do recover from such despair. If someone is intent on suicide it is not inevitable.

Talking about suicide doesn’t hurt

Talking about suicide openly and directly doesn’t hurt – it doesn’t increase the risk of it happening or put ideas in people’s heads. That’s a myth.

There is always hope.

Suicide can feel like a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Everyone has a reason for living – as well as a reason for dying.

Suicide is a real and devastating problem

Nearly 6,000 suicides occurred in the UK in 2018. On average we lose one person a week to death by suicide in Cumbria.

Suicide prevention is everyone’s business

Most people at risk of suicide are not in contact with mental health services. Every member of our community has a part to play in Suicide prevention.

We can all offer support

Conversations, listening and knowing someone cares can give hope, keep someone safe and save lives.

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