Working together to help prevent suicide

Published Tuesday, 10 September 2019

A plan setting out local strategies to help reduce the average of 20 people or so each year across the borough taking their own lives is being actioned.

The Suicide Prevention Plan recognises that every suicide is a preventable, tragic event which can have a devastating impact on family and friends, with impacts also on wider society. 

The plan, launched by Bromley Council and NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group, has been developed by health and social care professionals, including those who have been personally affected by suicide. It focuses on six main areas. These are:

  1. Reduce the risk of suicide in key high risk groups
  2. Tailor approaches to improve mental health in specific groups such as children and young people
  3. Reduce the means of suicide by developing clear referral pathways
  4. Provide better information and support to those bereaved or affected by suicide
  5. Support the media in delivering sensitive approaches to suicide and suicidal behaviour
  6. Support research, data collection and monitoring. This will help give us a better understanding so we can target interventions based on evidence. 
In order to help prevent deaths from suicide, the plan brings together Bromley services such as mental health and substance misuse services to help identify people at heightened risk of suicide, and to work together to support them.

Research shows that that environmental and social factors including where and how people live can impact on their mental wellbeing, with additional data being collected on deaths by suicide from neighbouring boroughs to better inform local and regional understanding. This data research will then help build community resilience and local support networks for residents.

Councillor Diane Smith, Executive Councillor for Adult Care and Health, said “In addition to the very real impact on both the individual and their family and friends, suicide also affects our society as a whole.  Our prevention plan seeks to further support our frontline services to identify people at risk of suicide early, and get them the support they need. Suicide is a preventable tragedy and by working collaboratively together to improve support, prevention, education, we can make a real difference.”

Dr. Atul Arora, Bromley GP and Clinical Lead for Mental Health said, “Preventing suicide is everyone’s business. We can all play a part in reaching out to those who need help. GPs and primary care services in particular have a critical role in suicide prevention and supporting vulnerable people to get the help they need. I am delighted that our plan will focus on helping those most at risk and will also support the families and communities who are left behind.”

Ends 

Editor's notes 

  • 20 people die in Bromley every year (on average) by suicide
  • 42% of suicides locally were in people aged 30-59 years
  • Bromley ranks 16th out of 33 London boroughs on suicide rates
  • Suicides are more prevalent in men – three times the rate of females
  • People in the lowest socio-economic group and living in the most deprived geographical areas are 10 times more at risk of suicide than those in the highest socio-economic group
  • For every person who takes their own life, at least 135 people are directly affected
  • The strongest identified predictor of suicide is previous episodes of self-harm
  • Mental ill-health and substance misuse greatly contribute to suicides
  • Suicide deaths are preventable and each is a tragedy with huge long-lasting impact
For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Executive, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk