This guideline covers ways to reduce suicide and help people bereaved or affected by suicides. It aims to:

  • help local services work more effectively together to prevent suicide
  • identify and help people at risk
  • prevent suicide in places where it is currently more likely.

It does not cover national strategies, general mental wellbeing, or areas covered by other NICE guidance such as self-harm or mental health conditions.

This guideline should be read in conjunction with Public Health England's Local suicide prevention planning: a practice resource.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Health and wellbeing boards and local safeguarding boards
  • Commissioners in the NHS and local authorities and others working in health and social care in particular, primary care and community services
  • Organisations in the public, private, voluntary and community sectors
  • People working in: prisons (public and contracted out), children and young people’s secure estate, immigration removal centres (IRCs), probation services and community rehabilitation services
  • National crime agency, police and emergency services
  • Education institutions
  • Families, carers and others who have been bereaved or affected by suicide

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

NICE worked with Public Health England to develop this guidance.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)