Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Director of the Centre for Suicide Research Keith Hawton responds to publication of the government's Suicide Prevention Strategy for England.

Image of a crowd of people

The UK government has released its National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England: 2023-28 aimed at reducing the number of suicides.

Professor Hawton is a member of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England Advisory Group, which inputted into the strategy. He said:


The publication of the new national strategy is very welcome, especially as there have been several developments in relation to suicide in recent years that need prioritising.

For example, increases in suicide and self-harm in young people, the impact of social media and other online influences, recognition of suicide risk in certain specific subgroups (e.g. individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, women around the time of childbirth) and the emergence of new suicide methods.

This is in addition to the need for a continuing focus on prevention of suicide in middle-aged men, in whom suicide remains the most common cause of death. It is also important that the strategy emphasises initiatives that extend well beyond mental health services, including for example, public health measures and the role of the voluntary sector.

It is an ambitious strategy, with a large number of aims, and a target of reduced suicide rates within two and a half years. One hopes that this ambition leads to co-ordinated efforts across a wide range of agencies, backed by support across Government departments, to tackle the heavy toll for individuals, families, friends and society of this important cause of premature death."

Find out more about the Centre for Suicide Research