Suicide prevention in communities

Everyone at some point will be affected by suicide. It might be the suicide of a neighbour, friend, colleague or family member; or the suicide of a well-known or public figure. Some of us might have suicidal thoughts.

There are many causes of suicide and this means that one simple solution or single response will not be enough if we are to reduce the numbers of people acting on thoughts of suicide.

Suicides can happen in communities, groups and organisations such as schools, workplaces, towns and neighbourhoods across the country. Suicide is a community health problem. Local communities are very important places where suicide can be directly addressed.

Many communities affected by suicide have responded by trying to find ways of coping with it and preventing it. Ordinary people concerned about suicide and people directly affected by suicide have come together with the common goal of:

  • dealing with the challenge of suicide; and
  • strengthening the community after a suicide has happened.

Suicide prevention is about promoting positive mental health and supporting people to learn a range of positive coping strategies so that they can better deal with difficulties in their lives.

"Suicide Prevention in the community: A practical guide" is the first of its kind in Ireland. It contains useful and practical advice on how best to set up a community response group to suicide. It lists the 'do's' and 'don'ts' of how best to support a grieving community and reduce the risk of further suicides in an area. Good practice guidelines are outlined for schools, third level colleges, youth clubs and centres, workplaces and sports groups.

You can download the guide as a PDF here: Suicide Prevention in the Community – A Practical Guide.