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

Past events

Real Time Suicide Surveillance webinar – 24 February 2020

On 24 February, we held a webinar session which explored the issues around Real Time Suicide Surveillance. The webinar was delivered by David Colchester. Over the last five years, David has developed the Thames Valley Police Force’s response and support for those bereaved by suicide. He has established a Real Time Suicide Surveillance System to help reduce suicide incidents, support those affected by suicide and help influence the effectiveness of local authority suicide prevention plans.

Download the slides from the Real Time Suicide Surveillance webinar

Suicide Prevention masterclass – 12 March 2020, Mary Ward House, Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN

We held a flagship, national event for local authorities to come together and discuss effective suicide prevention on 12 March, chaired by Jim McManus, Vice President of ADPH. Delegates discussed key issues such as media campaigning, working with those with lived experience and reaching at-risk groups.

They heard from a wide range of speakers: Jacqui Morrissey from Samaritans, Adele Owen from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Ian Riding from Wigan Council, Andy Chapman from the City of York Council, Claire Giraud from the City of London Corporation, Catherine Ward from Leeds City Council and Kate Griffiths from Thrive LDN.

Download the slides for the suicide prevention masterclass


  • Must-Know Guide: This guide provides a summary of the key issues around suicide prevention and is aimed at elected members, particularly those whose portfolio responsibilities include suicide prevention or those who are a suicide prevention champion for their council.
  • Case studies: The LGA/APDH are working with the Samaritans developing a set of case studies covering all of the key areas councils have requested sector-led improvement support on. These will shortly be available to read on this site.
Regional ADPH network support

Each regional ADPH network will receive a grant for sector-led improvement (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 councils and partners, who self-identify as facing significant delivery challenges around suicide prevention.

Experts will deliver a one-day workshop with 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. Please note that this workshop may be virtual or in person.  

Case studies

Read case studies done jointly with the National Suicide Prevention Alliance.

National Suicide Prevention Alliance logo


Hannah Gill, Senior Adviser, LGA

Magdalena van der Steen, Head of Engagement, ADPH