Berkshire’s Suicide Prevention Strategy launches on 17 October

BERKSHIRE Suicide Prevention Strategy, which aims to reduce the number of lives lost to suicide in Berkshire, officially launches on 17 October at an event in Wokingham.

Suicide has a devastating impact on individuals and families affected locally, nationally and globally. Suicides are tragedies for all involved; for every person who dies by suicide at least 10 people are directly affected, and the social and economic cost of a suicide is substantial. The highest suicide rate in the UK in 2015 was among men aged 45 to 59, at 22.3 deaths per 100,000. This age group also had the highest rate among women, at 7.3 deaths per 100,000 population.

The joint strategy, which will serve the whole of Berkshire until 2020, will be adopted by each of the CCG’s, Local Authorities, and Health and Wellbeing Boards in Berkshire. It seeks to save the lives lost to suicide through prevention, and also seeks to improve the general health and wellbeing of those directly affected by suicide.

The Strategy was first unveiled at a media event on 11 September 2017 to promote responsible press coverage of suicide to mark Suicide Prevention Awareness Day on 10 September. It will be officially launches on 17 October at an event at the Town Hall in Wokingham. The event will also see talks from guests speakers and a number of workshops for attendees to take part in.

Darrell Gale, Public Health Consultant lead in Berkshire said:

“This Strategy launch and conference is a joint contribution by all the key partners that include local government, the NHS, Police, voluntary sector and importantly, bereaved families.  We aim to progress this work through six complementary action plans in each of the six local authorities that link across Berkshire.   I do think today is an important day to raise the profile of this important Public Health issue.”

Councillor Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health and Reading’s Mental Health Champion, said:

“Suicides are a tragedy. Each suicide directly affects many more people. It is important that we strive to remove the stigma around suicide and promote good wellbeing across Reading and the whole of Berkshire.”

The key thing for us to take forward is that we can prevent suicide. This strategy will allow us to work closely with our local partners, and neighbouring authorities to continue to strive towards a Berkshire without suicide.”

Reading’s Wellbeing team has also recently launched a Suicide Prevention Strategy information page, which supports residents to make links with national and local support services for those who affected by suicide. This can be access at:



Notes to Editors

There were 4,882 deaths from suicide registered in England in 2014 and for every person who dies at least 10 people are directly affected.

Nationally, suicide continues to be more than three times as common amongst men aged 45 to 59. Studies have found that local areas with greater rises in unemployment have also experienced higher rises in male suicides.

In Berkshire, suicide is more common amongst men, with 70% of the deaths (recorded between 2007-2014) falling in the age brackets 30-44 and 45-59 years. The percentage of deaths among the unemployed rose from 13% to 38% over the same period.

The government target on all NHS agencies and local authority partners is to reduce the current level of suicide by 10% by 2020. The Berkshire strategy forges ahead with a target to reduce suicide by at least 25% by 2020, thus ensuring that this becomes a shared priority across organisations and areas.


Victoria Nickless

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