This topic briefing discusses issues relating to suicide and mental health. It does not constitute regulatory guidance. It is intended to help providers develop suicide prevention strategies at their university or college. If you are affected by any of the issues raised, there are services that can help:
- The Samaritans are open every day of the year, you can phone them for free on 116 123 or email [email protected] (response time: 24 hours)
- SHOUT 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope
- Mind, the mental health charity, offers support by phone at 0300 123 3393 or online
- The NHS mental health information and support.
Below are some examples of how providers are approaching and developing suicide prevention strategies which you may find helpful when developing your own approaches.
These examples are written and provided by the higher education sector. Some of these approaches may not yet be fully evaluated.
We will update this page with more examples of effective practice as we identify them.
If you have, or are aware of, examples of effective practice in this area please contact [email protected].
U-COPE: targeted interventions for students in crisis
The Improving student mental health through partnerships project aims to develop a student-focused, innovative best practice model for collaboration between university and NHS mental health services. The focus of this case study is on targeted interventions for students in crisis.
Read the University of Liverpool case study
Suicide prevention through online staff training
The University of Plymouth’s Turbo Teach programme aims to upskill personal tutors and academic staff to talk about the subject of suicide with students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Read the University of Plymouth's case study
Workshop scenario produced by the University of the West of England, Bristol
This workshop scenario, with related questions, has been developed by the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, as part of its strategy review and to support other providers to analyse their own policies and procedures to deliver effective interventions and suicide prevention strategies.
Read UWE's workshop scenario
Implementing a whole-institutional approach
In 2017 and 2018, there were several tragic student suicides at the University of Bristol. In response, the university, led by the Vice-Chancellor, committed to taking a whole-institution approach to mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention.
Read the University of Bristol case study
Healthy NTU: a health promotion and primary intervention programme
Healthy NTU is the Nottingham Trent University (NTU) Health Promotion Primary Prevention programme. Lead by student support services it provides self-care advice and information.
Read the NTU case study
Interventions and partnerships: a Suicide Safer approach to wellbeing
The University of Lincoln’s approach to collaboration and partnerships has been key to its #OneCommunity ethos around becoming a suicide safer university. This case study focuses on interventions and partnerships initiated by a specialist group within the university and demonstrates how a holistic approach to suicide prevention underpins the work.
Read the University of Lincoln case study
Start to Success #TalkSuicide campaign
Start to Success is a whole community approach to supporting student transitions into, through and beyond university. The campaign brought individuals, organisations and businesses together to help prevent suicide in Staffordshire.
Read the Keele University Start to Success programme
Suicide and self-harm mitigation – a whole-population approach
The University of Wolverhampton shares its experience of a suicide mitigation approach within the university and local community.
Read the University of Wolverhampton case study
A partnership approach to developing suicide-safer communities for students
The Suicide-Safer Communities project was initiated between Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) and the University of Kent in 2017. Working with other higher and further education institutions, students’ unions and strategic external partners has enabled the development of suicide-safer communities across multiple sites and campuses.
Read about the Suicide-Safer Communities project
A city-wide approach to suicide prevention
The University of York details its multi-disciplinary community response to suicide prevention.
Read the University of York case study
Using education, partnerships and research to promote a suicide-safer strategy
Reducing the risk of suicide among students through an evidence-based and pragmatic whole-institution response.
Read the University of Worcester case study
Suicide prevention and data analytics
Using data analytics to develop an early intervention approach to students who may be at risk.
Read the case study from Northumbria University