Cheshire & Merseyside has been officially awarded Suicide-Safer Community status by Living Works, the world's leading suicide prevention training company.

This award is symbolic of the fantastic leadership and hard work of colleagues and partners from across Cheshire & Merseyside over the last five years, implementing the NO MORE Suicide Strategy together.

 Having taken a sector led improvement approach, Cheshire & Merseyside has now had confirmation that the sub-region fulfils all the high standards. This is difficult to achieve for one locality, so to have been successful as a sub-region is a tremendous accomplishment. It is testament to the excellent integrated working, innovation and cross-cutting programmes that Cheshire & Merseyside partners deliver as system leaders.

In order to be recognised as a Suicide-Safer Community, there are ten main pillars of community action that must be addressed, including training, suicide bereavement, leadership and mental health promotion. These pillars are associated with most national suicide prevention strategies. Communities can assess their progression and current strengths, as well as areas for growth and improvement, as they work within their own national and local frameworks to become safer from suicide.

There is still much more to be done in order to continue pursuing our ultimate zero suicide ambition but this award signals great progress.

Sue Forster, Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board and Director of Public Health for St Helens said “So many people have contributed towards this prestigious accolade. I am grateful for their dedication and support. We truly have a fantastic partnership approach to suicide prevention and have achieved many things from training to awareness raising campaigns and supporting those bereaved by suicide. On behalf of the NO MORE Suicide Partnership Board I would like to thank all colleagues and partners who have helped us achieve this award. As we refresh the NO MORE Suicide strategy and action plan, we will continue to work together in our aim to reach zero suicide in Cheshire & Merseyside.

Louise Gittins, lead elected member for Suicide Prevention in Cheshire & Merseyside and Leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council added “I am delighted to hear that Cheshire & Merseyside have received this award. I have been so impressed with the work that has been carried out to prevent suicide in our area and have seen the dedication and commitment of the Board, operational groups and partners throughout Cheshire & Merseyside. I look forward to working with colleagues in the future on this important public health issue.”

The award will be celebrated and acknowledged at the World Suicide Prevention Day webinar led by Champs Collaborative on the 10th September 'Hope and Recovery in the time of COVID-19'. Registration for this webinar will open shortly.