Suicide prevention strategy

Suicide prevention strategy since 2015

Connecting for Life, Ireland's National Strategy to Reduce Suicide was launched in 2015. The strategy involves preventive and awareness-raising work with the population as a whole, supportive work with local communities and targeted approaches for priority groups. It proposes high-quality standards of practice across service delivery areas, and an underpinning evaluation and research framework. This wide reach presents unique implementation challenges – the whole-of-government, multi-agency, inter-professional, expert-by-experience, local/national focuses involves multiple stakeholders across and between levels of government and governance.

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 from 2020 to 2024. The extension of the strategy provided an opportunity to further advance and embed many already-established local Connecting for Life implementation structures throughout the country. Local Connecting for Life Action Plans that were already in place, were also extended and updated to reflect the latest implementation phase of the strategy. National implementation structures – most notably the National Cross Sectoral Steering and Implementation Group – 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. 

In line with the extension of the strategy, the HSE NOSP published a new implementation plan to 2024, which is rooted in the principle of learning from previous implementation to date. Specifically, implementation plans have been informed by the findings of the 2019 independent Interim Strategy Review of Connecting for Life, and in consistent consultation with implementation partners, stakeholders and government departments. 

Suicide prevention strategy up to 2014

Suicide prevention in Ireland up to 2014 was guided by Reach Out, the first national suicide prevention strategy. Reach Out brought a focus on suicide prevention work and guided activities in this area in Ireland from 2005 to 2014. Reach Out set out a vision and guiding principles for suicide prevention in Ireland. It outlined 96 actions and identified lead agencies.

More information on Connecting for Life