Oxford Health’s work towards reducing and preventing suicide

It’s World Suicide Prevention day tomorrow and we are focusing on the important work done by Oxford Health and our partners to reduce the number of people who attempt to die by suicide each year.

Oxford Health’s work towards reducing and preventing suicide

Oxford Health are involved with many projects in this area with more planned for the future. The work that is carried out across the Trust makes a real difference to people who are experiencing difficulties with suicidal tendencies and helps builds a greater awareness among our staff. The following are just some examples of the work we are doing to help prevent suicide.

Preventing suicide among nurses, midwives and students

One project currently underway at the Trust is analysing media reporting and other data around self-harm amongst nurses, midwives and students. Led by Karen Lascelles, suicide prevention lead, and Professor Keith Hawton, Director of Centre for Suicide Research at University of Oxford, the research team will also be conducting interviews with nurses and midwives with lived experience in this area.

Samantha Groves, a research assistant on the project said:

“Our research aims to raise awareness of how support for staff working within inpatient mental health services can be improved, and how suicide among nurses, midwives, and associated students can be understood and prevented”

The team hope that their work will help develop strategies to help prevent suicide and self-harm in the future.

A second project includes the development of a national survey which will explore staff experiences of supporting patients who self-harm. The survey will investigate the impact that this work has on staff and its findings will be used to inform improvements in support for staff and patients within inpatient services as well as to identify areas for further research in the future.

Experiences and support for adults in England caring for adults considered to be at risk of suicide

A new research project has been created with Oxford Brookes University to help gain a greater understanding of the support adult carers over 18 might need if they look after someone who is at risk of suicide. It’s an opportunity to offer preventative measures and provide support.

Participants will be asked to complete an online survey which takes around 20 minutes and is anonymous. If you’d like to take part you can find further information here.  The survey is live until 1st November 2021.

The Oxfordshire Suicide MAG

Oxford Health is a partner in the Oxfordshire Suicide MAG, established in 2014, which includes a membership of more than 20 organisations who have made a commitment to the development and delivery of the Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Strategy 2020 – 2024.

This strategy sets out the partnership’s commitment to reduce suicide and self-harm over the next 4 years. The organisations involved range from public and private sectors, to national and local charity sector organisations.

The aim of the group is to work in partnership to understand patterns of suicide, share data, and steer the development of the local suicide prevention work.  They also develop and co-ordinate responses to suicide and implement and evaluate activities to reduce suicide.

Rosalind Jones who works as a Trainee Health Improvement Practitioner for Public Health at Oxfordshire County Council said: “Preventing suicide requires a commitment from a broad range of agencies and not one organisation can be solely responsible.

“This strategy has enabled dedication from partners across Oxfordshire, ranging from voluntary to private sector, to acknowledge the importance of working together to reduce and prevent suicide.

“As we move into Year 2 of the strategy, we will continue to work to prevent suicide and self-harm in the community using the four action areas as our focus. As more information becomes available, we will monitor any impact of COVID-19 on our approaches to both suicide prevention and postvention.”


Your mental health matters so make sure you get the right support by visiting one of the websites or calling the numbers provided

Speak to a mental health nurse by calling 111 or visiting the 111.nhs.uk

Samaritans – Call 116 123 or visit their website

Shout – 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service

Papyrus: Prevention of Young Suicide – 0800 068 41 41 or visit their website

Oxfordshire CRUSE provides early support for people bereaved by suicide – 01865 245398

A bereavement by suicide support service is provided by Buckinghamshire Mind

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Published: 9 September 2021