Suicide Prevention

Saving Lives is a programme for suicide prevention and managament   


CDARS  has  30  years of  experience  with high  needs clients  faced with mental  health issues,  substance  misuse,  domestic  violence,  poverty  and  much  else. We  help  over  1200 people  each  year by  providing  a  number  of services  designed to support vulnerable people with complex needs, including people with drug  and  alcohol misuse,  mental health, veterans and perpetrators of domestic  violence.

The programme is based at and delivered from our Sunshine Recovery  Café in Kingston Road, Wimbeldon Chase.  A Crisis Recovery Café that we run, designed to respond to crisis episodes of residents of the Boroughs of Merton, Wandsworth, Sutton, Richmind and Kingston affected by mental health issues.


Why the programme is needed 

In relation to the five Boroughs of Merton, Wandsworth, Sutton, Richmond and Kingston, covered by our services, official statistics show:

  • All five of Boroughs have high levels of poor mental health. For example Merton has 24996 people suffering from a common mental disorder, and 1866 people with a severe and enduring condition (Merton CCG 2018). Sutton has 18800 people suffering from a common mental disorder, and 2100 people with a severe and enduring condition (Sutton CCG 2016).
  • All five Boroughs also suffer from suicide. For example in Richmond there were 105 suicide deaths between 2006-13. Of these victims 58% were male, 42% had abused alcohol, and 39% had previously attempted suicide or self-harm. Triggers for suicide included relationship breakdown, financial difficulties, and exposure to violence (JSNA 2015).
  • A key risk group for suicide is poor mental health. For example in Kingston the JSNA states that people with poor mental health have a mortality rate two to three times higher than the general population with suicide accounting for between 20-33% of these early deaths. The Sutton JSNA also comments that "Suicide is much higher in groups with poor mental health". 

A survey  that we have undertaken  in September  2018  within our  cafe  suggests that:

  • 75%  of  245  clients  (n=171 )  reported that  they  had  suicidal ideation  in  the  last  3  years
  • 30%  of  245  clients  (n=73)  reported  that  they  had  planned suicide  in  the  last  3  years
  • 15%  of  245  clients  (n=36)  reported  that  they  had  attempted suicide  in  the last  3  years

We acknowledge that supporting people with suicide ideation is perhaps the hardest issue to support someone with, which can  leave  staff feeling  anxious and  reduce their confidence level, if staff is not adequately trained, prepared and with enough resources.   Therefore in order to respond effectively to this specific and sensitive need,  CDARS has sought and managed to get external funding to employ a Suicide Prevention Specialist Worker.  The programme has been funded for the next 3 years by Henry Smith Charity.


What we aim to achieve

This aim of the programme is to support  people who  are  at  risk  of suicide or suicide ideation, residents in  the  five London  Boroughs  of Richmond, Kingston, Sutton,  Merton  and  Wandsworth. 

The Programme aims also to reduce numbers of suicide attempts among people with mental health problems from the London Boroughs of Merton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Kingston and Richmond

This programme  provides a  holistic  suicide  prevention  service  for service users who have  severe  and enduring  mental health issues or  a  common mental disorder  such as stress, anxiety  or  depression. The programme  helps  service users identified as being  at  risk  to  reduce  their  feelings of  suicide  ideation  and  propensity  to  plan  and  commit do  this by  providing  a  mixture  of  immediate short term crisis  help, medium and long term support.

This is an innovative programme programme provided in a three stage process:

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