£10 million to support suicide prevention

Those struggling with their mental health will be better supported thanks to a £10 million funding boost for charities working to prevent suicides

  • £10 million for 79 charities across England to help prevent suicide
  • New funding will benefit helpline services, support in schools and groups in area with highest rates of suicide
  • Delivers on Government’s Suicide Prevention Strategy which sets out plans to prevent self-harm and suicide to save lives
  • Organisations benefiting include helplines, groups providing therapy to men at risk of suicide and charities providing targeted support in high-risk areas

People struggling with their mental health will be better supported thanks to a £10 million funding boost for organisations working to prevent suicides.

A total of 79 organisations, including a suicide prevention helpline, will receive funding through the Government’s Suicide Prevention VCSE Grant Fund. This will expand access to support services covering every region in the country, including the areas with the highest rates of suicide.

Both national charities and small community-led charities, which provide tailored support for local areas, will receive new funding to support people with their mental health.

Many charities will deliver services through partnerships and alliances, to help ensure joined-up support for individuals seeking help.

This represents an important milestone in delivering the Suicide Prevention Strategy, which sets out the government’s actions to prevent self-harm, suicide and save lives.

Minister for Mental Health Maria Caulfield said:

"Every suicide is a tragedy which leaves a terrible mark on the families and communities affected.

"Non-profit organisations play a hugely important role in supporting people with their mental health and preventing suicide in England.  

"This new funding will support people who need it the most and build on the brilliant work happening across the country on suicide prevention."

The fund was announced in the 2023 Autumn Statement to support charities in either meeting increased demand for suicide prevention services, or to support a range of diverse and innovative activity that can help to prevent suicides in England.

The organisations set to receive grants include James’ Place Charity and PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide - both have been awarded £625,000.

James’ Place Charity will use the funding to prevent men dying by suicide in Liverpool, Newcastle and London, and will provide two full-time-equivalent therapists in each James Place centre, to help save the lives of men in active suicidal crisis.

PAPYRUS aims to establish six new community hubs, largely down the east coast of England, which will go towards engaging and training parents and caregivers, providing them with free resources and free training.

Professor Sir Louis Appleby, the national advisor to the Suicide Prevention Strategy, said:

"The new funding is in recognition of the role of voluntary organisations large and small in suicide prevention.

"They offer support to people in crisis or on the margins of society because of poverty, disability or prejudice.

They often work alongside the NHS but in settings where many who need help feel more comfortable.

"The new Government strategy says that bringing down the suicide rate is a national priority, and the ability of the voluntary sector to reach people at risk is vital."

We Hear You CEO, Lucy Kitchener, said:

"Along with every other charity we know, We Hear You is finding fundraising extremely challenging right now.

"Hearing the news that we have been awarded Suicide Prevention funding is wonderful, therefore.

"Better still, this grant will fund counselling sessions with the people who come to our service feeling the most distraught.

"Public Health England figures show that 1 in 10 suicides are from people with a chronic health condition. We Hear You supports people who are affected by cancer and life-threatening conditions."

The Samaritans will receive a grant of £530,000, to support its 24/7 helpline services and wider innovative suicide prevention activities.

This will include:

  • Postvention, which is an intervention that takes place after a suicide by supporting the family and friends of the person who has died, in schools and colleges.
  • Preventing suicides in high-risk locations.
  • Research to increase understanding of the needs of callers and how to reach people who don’t use the service.
  • Targeting groups including marginalised communities, such as ethnic minorities, LGBT, people in the justice system.

Julia Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, said:

"This funding will help Samaritans continue our mission to save lives.

"The voluntary sector plays a crucial part in suicide prevention and, in this challenging environment, financial support for charities has never been more important.

"Today’s announcement is a welcome step towards the resourcing needed to deliver the national suicide prevention strategy."

The Suicide Prevention strategy commits to more than 130 measures, from prevention and earlier intervention, through to more targeted and proactive support for people in crisis.

From: Department of Health and Social Care and Maria Caulfield MP