To consider approving the Coventry and Warwickshire Suicide Prevention Strategy 2023-2030, the Council’s “Our Approach to Suicide Prevention” and proposals for embedding this within Council’s activities; and identify a Suicide Prevention Sponsor to champion this work.
Cabinet Portfolio Holder – Councillor Margaret Bell
Councillor Margaret Bell (Portfolio Holder for Health and Adult Social Care) introduced this report which sought approval of the Coventry and Warwickshire Suicide Prevention Strategy 2023-30 (which had already been endorsed by the Health and Wellbeing Board) and the proposals for embedding suicide prevention activity within the Council’s activities. The local approach built upon the work of the national suicide prevention programme which ran from 2018 to 2021 and reflected significant engagement with stakeholders, partners and the public. Within the Council, discussions had taken place to explore opportunities to build a suicide safe workplace which had culminated in an organisational commitment to suicide prevention captured in Appendix to the report, “Our Approach to Suicide Prevention”. In term of funding, the Council had already committed dedicated resources to the development and implementation of suicide prevention activity across Coventry and Warwickshire in the form of the permanent employment of a Suicide Prevention and Partnership Manager funded from the Public Health Grant and an allocated project budget for 2023/24 supported the initial implementation and embedding of the new
Strategy. From 2024/25 onwards, in order to continue to support the wider delivery of the strategy, ongoing funding was required to make the existing Coventry and Warwickshire Real Time Surveillance System permanent, provide ongoing suicide awareness and prevention training and support local awareness campaigns.
Councillor Isobel Seccombe commended the work of the Public Health Team for the production of the strategy.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse stressed the importance of the Real Time Surveillance System and the prevention and awareness training programme. He hoped that the training could be extended to Members.
Councillor Andy Jenns welcomed the Council’s approach to buildng a suicide-safe workplace, reflecting on the impact that finding a suicide could have on an individual.
Councillor Andy Crump also sought provision of suicide awareness and prevention training for Members, noting that their role in the community could have a positive impact in collecting intelligence and saving lives.
Councillor Seccombe noted the lifetime impact of suicide on family and friends and welcomed the engagement of partners in the implementation of the strategy.
1. Approves the Coventry and Warwickshire Suicide Prevention Strategy 2023-2030 on behalf of the Council;
2. Approves the Council’s “Our Approach to Suicide Prevention” attached to the report at Appendix 1;
3. Approves the proposals for embedding suicide prevention activity within the Council’s activities as set out in the report; and
4. Authorises the Strategic Director for People to identify a Suicide Prevention Sponsor to champion the role of the Council in the wider suicide prevention work programme.