About Connecting for Life

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Vision

Connecting for Life is Ireland’s national strategy to reduce suicide 2015-2020. Connecting for Life sets out a vision of an Ireland where fewer lives are lost through suicide, and where communities and individuals are empowered to improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Development

The development of Connecting for Life, Ireland's national strategy to reduce suicide 2015-2020, was a collaborative and inclusive process. Some of the most important contributions to the development of Connecting for Life came from the public consultation process. The HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) received 272 submissions from people and organisations, which included members of the general public, people who have used services and their families, professional bodies and community interests and organisations.

Connecting for Life is based upon current national and international evidence in relation to effective suicide prevention strategies. This evidence base continues to grow and develop across the world. The implementation structures for Connecting for Life place a strong emphasis on evaluation and research. The strategy will therefore contribute both to the national and international knowledge base concerning suicidal behaviour and help shape and guide the provision of preventative strategies and services in the future.

Guiding Principles and Themes

  • Collaborative - Achieve together to deliver our goals
  • Accountable - Clear governance structures and openness in implementing the strategy
  • Responsive - Providing high-quality service responses that work with and support people to achieve goals that are meaningful and important to them
  • Evidence-informed and outcome-focused - Action targeted to identified need and based on international best-practice recommendations
  • Adaptive to change - responsive to new and emergeing circumstances

Strategic Goals and Objectives

1 Better understanding of suicidal behaviour
2 Supporting communities to prevent and respond to suicidal behaviour
3 Targeted approaches for those vulnerable to suicide
4 Improved access, consistency and integration of services
5 Safe and high quality services
6 Reduce access to means
7 Better data and research

The Extension of Connecting for Life Beyond 2020

In November 2020, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD and the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, announced the extension of Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide, to 2024.

  • You can read this announcement here

The extension of Connecting for Life now provides an opportunity to further advance and embed many already-established local implementation structures throughout the country. The 17 local Connecting for Life Action Plans that are already in place, will in turn be extended and updated to reflect a new national implementation plan.

National implementation structures, most notably the National Cross Sectoral Steering and Implementation Group, will continue to coordinate different government departments and (departmental) strategies. The HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) remains the named provider of cross-sectoral support for implementation of Connecting for Life

The NOSP has now published a new and responsive implementation plan for 2020 to 2022, which is rooted in the principle of learning from previous experience of implementation to date. Specifically, this plan has been informed by the findings of the 2019 independent Interim Strategy Review of the implementation of the strategy, and consistent consultation with implementation partners, stakeholders and government departments. 

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