About us

The impact of suicide can affect everyone in the community. Every life lost to suicide matters and represents someone's child, partner, parent, friend or co-worker. Across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland everyone can make a contribution to prevent suicide.

Start a Conversation is a suicide prevention campaign that aims to build a community that is committed to the mental health and wellbeing of its residents. A non-judging environment where care and support is available to those in distress or those bereaved or affected by suicide. Through a raised awareness and open and honest conversations about suicide we believe that every person has the potential to make a difference and save a life.

The campaign is led by Leicestershire County Council working in partnership with a number of organisations, from a variety of sectors from the community, that have come together with a commitment to prevent suicide.

Through our #StartAConversation campaign we would like residents and communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to be more aware of the warning signs of suicidal behaviour and to have an open and honest approach to conversations about suicide. In this way we can work together to prevent suicide.

Our aim

Our campaign aims to make it okay to start a conversation about suicide and we want to:

  • remove the stigma and myths that surround suicide
  • make sure people in distress have access to the help, advice and support they need
  • provide help, advice and support to those who have been bereaved or affected by suicide
  • provide information and advice on ways to improve mental health and wellbeing
  • raise awareness of suicide across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

LLR SAPG: Strategic Approach for Suicide Prevention (2020-2023)

Mark Wheatley (Leicester City Council), co-chair of the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) Suicide Audit and Prevention Group presented the new LLR Strategic Approach for Suicide Prevention (2020-23) at this years online conference, on 10th September - World Suicide Prevention Day 2020.

The strategic approach brands the slogan "suicide is everybody's business" and has been produced to provide a focus for all partners of #StartaConversation and the SAPG to address the following priorities in LLR:

Targeting support to high risk groups: By continuing to develop public mental health messages and supporting primary and secondary care on how best to support individuals expressing suicidal ideation.

Protecting people with a history of self-harm: Nationally half the number of people who die by suicide have a history of self-harm. We aim to protect them through better signposting to support, and by working with expert partner organisations.

Prevent death by suicide in public places: We will build on our use of real time surveillance data to identify locations where death by suicide is frequent and apply prevention plans to these locations.

Supporting primary care to prevent suicide: We will develop pathways to link clinical care with wider social support, and ensure primary care draws on local resources to protect people in adverse circumstances, such as financial difficulties and relationship problems.

Strengthen partnerships with the corporate sector to tackle suicide: Through initiatives such as Time to Change Leicester, the Suicide Audit and Prevention Group will encourage employers to work with local occupational health services to strengthen mental wellbeing support available for employees.

Provide enhanced suicide awareness training: We will continue to promote training for a range of professionals, such as GPs, mental health staff, front-line Council staff, or community members in contact with people with mental health problems or suicidal intent.

Better use of media (including social media) to manage messages about suicide: Working with local media outlets to ensure reports of deaths by suicide adhere to Samaritans media guidelines.

Raise awareness with better data and better use of data: The work of the SAPG is already informed by real time surveillance data. Gathered by police first responders, this information means timely support can be offered to people who have been bereaved or affected by a suspected suicide, and that the SAPG can respond to emerging patterns indicated by suicide deaths.

Supporting individuals experiencing suicide ideation during COVID-19: As a response to lockdown, the SAPG has developed and disseminated public mental health resources from self-help to crisis care support, helping people with new problems and those experiencing exacerbation of old ones.

The full document will be made available here once it has been formally published by the LLR SAPG.

We welcome public and professional comment and questions on the strategic approach for 2020-2023. Please complete the online form below and a member of the LLR SAPG will endeavour to reply.

Please complete the form below to have your say on the strategic approach outlined by LLR SAPG for 2020-23.

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Comment on the LLR SAPG Strategic Approach to Suicide Prevention 2020-23

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Contact us

If you'd like more information on our campaign please contact us by:

0116 305 0705
Public Health Department, Leicestershire County Council, County Hall, Glenfield, Leicestershire, LE3 8TB

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