The money is part of the Suicide Prevention Grant Fund, which has already helped thousands of people with suicidal feelings access help
“Too many lives are sadly lost to suicide and my sympathy goes out to those affected by its truly devastating impacts. We’re already urgently investing record sums of money to transform and expand NHS mental health services, but the voluntary suicide prevention sector is such an important part of the support on offer and this multi-million pound fund recognises the work it carries out alongside the NHS.” Steve Barclay, health and social care secretary
The government has launched a £10m fund for charities offering suicide prevention services.
The £10m is part of the Suicide Prevention Grant Fund, designed to make sure that as many people as possible can access support services. The fund also aims to prevent people reaching crisis point and reduce future demand for such services, both in the charity sector and in the NHS.
A previous fund of £5.4m in 2021 to 2022 supported more than 100 organisations within the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. The government has said that the results were “overwhelmingly positive, with virtually every single successful bidder saying it helped meet increased demand after the pandemic, improved access to services for people in need and helped identify those experiencing suicidal thoughts quicker.”
Recipients of the earlier grant include:
The latest round of government funding could be used by the VCSE sector to boost capacity in crisis helplines, the government said, both for those struggling and for people concerned about a loved one. It could also be used to provide signposting to services, launch campaigns targeted at specific at-risk groups like young men, and also support families who have experienced the tragedy of losing a loved one to suicide.
Steve Barclay, the health and social care secretary, said: “Too many lives are sadly lost to suicide and my sympathy goes out to those affected by its truly devastating impacts. We’re already urgently investing record sums of money to transform and expand NHS mental health services, but the voluntary suicide prevention sector is such an important part of the support on offer and this multi-million pound fund recognises the work it carries out alongside the NHS.”
Ged Flynn, chief executive of Papyrus, a previous recipient of the grant, said: “Funding is vital if we are to continue giving hope to children and young people who are struggling with life, and we welcome the government’s contribution which will go some way to help. The services we offer are underpinned by voluntary income; kind donations, fundraising and public support. That generosity funds our confidential HOPELINE247 service which allows our professional suicide prevention advisers to keep young people safe.”
He added: “We also rely on voluntary income to help us engage with local communities on suicide prevention initiatives across the UK, offer training to groups and individuals and support a network of volunteers who have lived experience of suicide.”
Noting that suicide is still the biggest killer of men under 35, Maria Caulfield, the minister for mental health, said the government was also investing £57m into suicide prevention schemes through the NHS Long Term Plan, adding that “all local areas now have suicide prevention plans to address the specific needs of their populations.” She added: “While this funding will help fund a range of preventative and innovative activity up and down the country, the government is committed to doing all it can to prevent deaths by suicide. Later this year, it will publish a new national suicide prevention strategy that will set out further actions and commitments to deliver this.”
We welcome this announcement from the government of an extra £10m to help charities offer suicide prevention services. Since the pandemic, there has been a steep rise in people developing mental health problems, and this funding should go some way to supporting those who are near crisis point. Nonetheless, much more investment is needed to tackle the growth in mental illness, and we hope that the forthcoming suicide prevention strategy will set out some bold, well-resourced plans for tackling it.