Suicide prevention

We’re working towards a Greater Manchester where no one sees suicide as a solution to their problems.

What we’ve achieved so far 

The Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention Strategy 2020 to 2023 will be refreshed in 2023 and the Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention Programme Board now works to an annual action plan. Every Greater Manchester locality also has its own suicide prevention group and local action plan in place.

On 1 May 2019, the Shining a Light on Suicide campaign was launched to raise awareness of suicide and to offer hope to those experiencing suicidal thoughts or those bereaved by suicide. Following consultation with those with lived experience, the website was relaunched in 2020 with additional support resources.

Suicide bereavement support has been available for those bereaved or affected by suicide in Greater Manchester since April 2019. The impact of bereavement by suicide can be devastating, for family, friends, and the community and can be a suicide risk factor for many without appropriate support in place. In April 2020, the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service was launched to offer support for all bereaved whatever the cause of death to ensure those affected can receive help for their needs.

Suicide prevention training has continued with over 28,000 people in Greater Manchester completing the free 20-minute online Zero Suicide Alliance training since the Shining a Light on Suicide campaign was launched in May 2019.

The Lions Barber Collective BarberTALK training sessions have been delivered to a number of barbers and hair professionals across the city region and Suicide First Aid Lite virtual training was rolled out to 500 people across our city region in Spring 2021 with further training being delivered to specific workforces.

Why this matters

Greater Manchester loses over 200 people to suicide each year. Three quarters of those who die by suicide are male. This is a tragic loss of those who have died and the devastating effects of each of these deaths are felt long-term, far and wide in families, communities, workplaces and schools.

The majority who die by suicide (two-thirds) are not in contact with mental health services, so suicide prevention is a shared public health and mental health priority. For every person who dies, another nine individuals will have attempted suicide so each suicide can be considered a reflection of underlying levels of poor mental health in our population.

Each death has a ripple effect within families and communities, resulting in the lives of at least 6 others being seriously affected to the extent that they are likely to find it difficult to work, to form relationships and live to their full potential but it’s believed that up to 135 people are affected by each death. In addition, it is recognised that those affected or bereaved by suicide have an increased risk of suicide attempts and dying by suicide themselves, though protective factors can very much reduce this risk.

What’s next 

  • We plan to strengthen the impact and contribution of wider services. The Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention Programme Steering Group, overseen by the Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention Programme Board, involves a range of statutory and non-statutory services, charity and voluntary sector partners and those with lived experience, to achieve its goals, reaching out to other groups and services to ensure that suicide prevention is everyone’s business.
  • Mental health service providers in Greater Manchester will collaborate to work toward the elimination of suicides for inpatient and community mental health care settings by continuous quality improvement in relation to 10 key ways for improving patient safety (National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide & Safety in Mental Health)
  • We will continue to develop, train and support our workforces to better assess and support those who may be at risk of suicide.
  • We will encourage more Greater Manchester residents to become suicide aware so they feel more confident to speak to those they may have concern for, speak out themselves if they have suicidal thoughts and offer compassionate support to those suicide bereaved by promoting the free 20-minute online Zero Suicide Alliance training at Learn to Save a Life | Shining a Light on Suicide
  • We will use the learning from evidence, data and intelligence to improve our plan and our services.
  • We will continue to raise awareness of the support those suicide bereaved can access, when they need it, through the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service ( ) (Support information is also available via the suicide bereavement pages on the website