B&NES Suicide Prevention

Find out more about the B&NES action plan and where you can access suicide prevention and bereavement resources, support, and training (including free online training).

Suicide is a key public health priority both nationally and locally.
The impact of suicide on families and our communities is devastating and long-lasting. As Suicide Prevention remains central to the vision of the NHS long term plan, we have developed a multiagency strategy and action plan, giving access to suicide prevention and bereavement resources, support, and training. 




If you have any questions, please contact suicide_prevention@bathnes.gov.uk

Are you thinking about suicide?

If you feel you might kill yourself, or have seriously harmed yourself and you need urgent medical help, please:
•    Call 999 (111 is for non-emergencies)
•    Go straight to A&E

If you are having suicidal thoughts or feeling like you want to die, it is important to tell someone. Suicidal thoughts can be complex, frightening, and confusing.

Help is available, you do not have to struggle with these difficult feelings alone, please:

If you don’t want to talk over the phone, these text lines are also available:

They’re free, anonymous and always open. 

Tips for coping right now

  • Remember that suicide is something you can control, the feeling of it being inevitable will pass.
  • Don’t make a decision today. You don’t need to act on your thoughts right now. Just try to get through today rather than focusing on the future.
  • Follow your crisis plan if you have one. If you do not have one, you can make one – make a list of things you could do to help yourself including, writing down the names and numbers of people who will be able to help you. 
  • Go to a place where you feel safe.
  • It could be helpful for you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. There are different people who could help, it could be someone you trust or an emotional support helpline (call Samaritan’s on 116 123).
  • Contact a health professional such as your GP or Community Mental Health Team (CMHT).
  • Try doing things that distract you, think about what you enjoy doing to take your mind off what you are currently feeling and thinking. 

See more tips for coping with suicidal thoughts at Rethink

Are you supporting someone who is thinking about suicide?

If you think someone is in immediate danger, the quickest way to get help is to call an ambulance on 999

Using the advice ‘WAIT’ is one way to support someone who may be suicidal. It stands for:
W – watch out for signs of distress and uncharacteristic behaviour e.g., social withdrawal, excessive quietness, irritability, uncharacteristic outburst, talking about death or suicide.
A – ask “are you having suicide thoughts?” Asking about suicide does not encourage it, nor does it lead a person to start thinking about it; in fact, it may help prevent it, and can start a potentially lifesaving conversation.
I – It will pass, assure your loved one that, with help, their suicidal feelings will pass in time.
T - talk to others, encourage your loved one to seek from a GP or health professional. Take care of yourself.

If you are worried someone is suicidal, its ok to ask them directly. Once someone starts to share how they are feeling, its important to listen. Samaritans has compiled some listening tips to help you give the best support, using the acronym SHUSH:

S – Show you care; focus on the other person, make eye contact and really listen to somebody
H – Have patience; it may take time and several attempts before a person is ready to open up
U – Use open questions; ask questions that need more than a yes/ no answer
S – Say it back; check you understand and repeat something back
H – Have courage; don’t be put off and most importantly don’t feel you have to fill the silence.

Prevention Steering Group

The Steering Group aims to reduce the rates of suicide and self – harm in Bath and North East Somerset. The group comprises a wide range of partners from public, voluntary and community sector, those with lived experiences of self – harm, suicide and bereavement by suicide and supporting providers.
Our vision in B&NES is to:

  • Reduce suicide and self-harm.
  • Ensure that no resident will think that suicide is their only option.
  • Tackle the stigma associated with suicide and develop community conversations about suicide.
  • Build community resilience.
  • Support those who are affected by suicide.


B&NEs public health team supported by the suicide prevention steering group publish a quarterly newsletter. The newsletter provides an update on the action plan, events, training opportunities and resources available in Bath and North East Somerset. Sign up to the suicide prevention newsletter mailing list and see archived newsletters.

If you would like more information, or to contribute an article or any resources please get in touch by emailing suicide_prevention@bathnes.gov.uk.

Help and support

Expand the sections below to find out more about the different types of support available.


This section covers free online tools that can help you manage your own suicidal feelings or someone you know with suicidal feelings.

Staying Safe from suicidal thoughts – this helps you to make a suicide safety plan and can help anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts or supporting someone else. It’s designed to offer hope, compassion and practical ideas on how to find your own way forward.

Stay Alive App, which is free, is full of information and tools to help you stay safe when in a crisis. The app includes a safety plan, customisable reasons for living, and a life box where you can store photos that are important to you.  The app is available for Android and Apple phones, and the app content can be downloaded as a printable PDF.

Help is at Hand - This is a detailed guide providing information with emotional and practical support to those affected by suicide. Those bereaved by a suicide are at increased risk of mental health and emotional problems and may be at higher risk of suicide themselves, so receiving the right support is essential.

distrACT app aims to help you better understand urges to self-harm, and encourages you to monitor and manage your symptoms. It is available for both Apple and Android operating systems.

Safe Places scheme - a service by Avon and Somerset Police to help vulnerable people with communication difficulties stay safe when they are out and about. The scheme is open to anyone who has communication difficulties, such as dementia or a learning disability, and frequents or resides in the Avon and Somerset force area. The scheme has no age limit.

R;pple is an interactive tool designed to prevent a visual prompt when a person searches for harmful keywords or phrases relating to the topic of self-harm and suicide. It can be added to Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

Sources of support

This section covers supporting organisations available on a local and national level.  The information on organisations below does not amount to an endorsement by Bath and North East Somerset of their services. Any use is at your own risk.

If there is an immediate danger to life, please dial 999 or go to your nearest Accident and Emergency Department (A&E or ED). For other mental health concerns please make an urgent appointment with your GP or call Samaritans.   For non-medical emergencies call 111

Samaritans - 24/7 listening service and suicidal support. Call: 116 123 for free from any phone or visit the website.

Bath Samaritans - Call: 0330 094 5717, open Monday 9:30am – midday, Tuesday - Thursday 9:30am – 7pm and Friday 12:30pm – 7pm or visit the website.

Shout - Text “SHOUT” to 85258.  Free, confidential, 24/7 text support line in the UK, offering texters immediate support with issues such as suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, abuse, self-harm, relationship problems and bullying.

Bath Mind Breathing Space - offers a calm, non-clinical service, supporting individuals experiencing or at risk of a mental health crisis.  Email: breathingspace@bathmind.org.uk or call: 0808 175 1369. Open 365 days a year between 5:30pm – 11:30pm. Support is available for Polish speakers as well.

Bath Mind Breathing Space for Polish Speakers - Jesli chciałbys porozmawiac z kims w jezyku polskim, zadzwon do Breathing Space. Polski pracownik oddzwoni do Ciebie w uzgodnionym terminie. Mozesz równiez wysłac do nas e-maila w jezyku polskim:  breathingspace@bathmind.org.uk.

Maytree – A unique residential service for people in suicidal crisis so they can talk about their suicidal thoughts and behaviour. They offer a free 4-night, 5 day one-off stay to adults over the age of 18 from across the UK – Call: 020 7263 7070 or visit the website.

Suicide prevention and bereavement support

For local support on mental health and wellbeing (including loneliness, low mood and anxiety) contact the Community Wellbeing Hub.  Call: 0300 247 0050, open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm or email: CWHBanes@virgincare.co.uk

Hub to Hope - a national mental health database, bringing help and support together in one place.

The Beside Project provides emotional and practical support to any individual living in B&NES who has recently may have a lost a family member or next of kin to suicide. Email beside.project@nhs.net or call 0117 909 6630

Survivors of bereavement by suicide offers peer-peer support to all of those over 18 years, impacted by suicide. The Bath Group meets monthly on a Wednesday. Email bath@uksobs.org for details. National helpline and support available.

Children and Young People

PAPYRUS - working to prevent suicide by young people. Call: 0800 068 41 41 or text 07860 039967, open every day 9am – 12pm or email  pat@papryus-uk.org or visit the website.

ChildLine  – Helpline for any child under 18 years old. Open 24/7 – Call: 0800 1111 or chat online via a webchat or visit the website.

Winston’s Wish – support for children who have lost a parent or sibling to suicide. Call: 08088 020 021, open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, or email: ask@winstonswish.org or visit the website.


Sane – meeting the challenge of mental illness.  Visit the website or call: 07984 967 708, leave a message and give your first name and a contact number, and they will call you back when practicable.

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - leading a movement against male suicide. Call: 0800 58 58 58, open every day from 5pm to midnight or visit the website.

Rethink National Advice Service -  Help for people affected by mental illness. Call: 0300 5000 927, open Monday to Friday, 10am – 1pm.

Family Lives - Emotional support and advice to parents under stress of any kind. Call: 0808 800 2222, open Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm and Weekends 10am – 3pm or chat online open Monday – Friday 1:30pm-9pm.

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) - support those aged over 18 who have been bereaved by suicide. Call  0300 111 5065, open Monday to Friday 9am – 9pm. Bath Support Group meets every third Wednesday of every month.

The Compassionate Friends – supporting bereaved parents and their families. Call: 0345 123 2304, open Monday – Sundays 10am – 4pm and 7pm – 10pm. Email: helpline@tcf.org.uk or visit the website for online helpline webchat.

Cruse Bereavement Care – Helpline and face to face counselling for anyone affected by any kind of bereavement. Call: 0808 808 1677, open Monday-Friday 9.30-5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Email:  helpline@cruse.org.uk or visit  www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/traumatic-bereavement/suicide

Childhood Bereavement -  Support and advice for bereaved families. Call: 01494 568 900, open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm or visit the website.

Grief Encounter Mission: every bereaved child and their family in the UK get the best possible help, recognition and understanding following their loss. Call: 020 8446 7452, open Monday-Friday 9-5pm or visit the website.

- Advice to bereaved families facing an inquest following a sudden death. Call: 020 7263 1111 or download the INQUEST handbook.

Support after witnessing or being involved in a suicide

When someone takes their life and you were in some way involved or a witness, it can be really upsetting and traumatic. Even if you didn’t know the person at all

The Support After Suicide Partnership have put together some information on the how you might be feeling, self– care tools and where to go for help


Free training

Zero Suicide Alliance Step 1 “Step Up Self Isolation Training” - This 5 – 10 minutes online training module covers what social isolation is, how it affects our mental health, and how to help someone who may be isolated.

Zero Suicide Alliance Step 2 Gateway “Let’s Talk Training” - This 5 – 10-minute online training module provides a vital introduction to suicide awareness. You will learn to approach and help someone that you think may be considering taking their life.

Zero Suicide Alliance Step 3 “Suicide Awareness Training” - This in-depth 30-minute online training module aims to give you the skills and confidence to help someone who may be considering suicide.

Health Education England and Public Health England “We Need to Talk About Suicide” This 60 – 90-minute online training module is aimed at making sure that everyone in contact with the public, in whatever role, knows how to spot any signs of mental distress and feel comfortable in talking about suicide.

Bath Mind Mental Health Awareness for Frontline Staff and Volunteers - This online course covers Suicide Prevention and Intervention.

Samaritans Managing Suicidal Conversations Digital Course – this will show people how to confidently approach somebody in this situation and the most effective types of responses. New course dates now available.

Papyrus Suicide Prevention Training – Various packages available. The SP-ARK (access, resource and knowledge) presentation is a free course (one session per organisation).

STORM Skills Training Suicide Prevention and Self – Harm Mitigation Courses - Four courses levels ranging from basic level to Level 4.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training - is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. Various providers available.

Bath Mind Suicide First Aid Course - half day Suicide First Aid Lite and the one-day Suicide First Aid training courses. The course will be delivered in an evidence-based and interactive format that covers both theoretical and practical skills.

Support and tools for people with learning disabilities

Wirral CAMHS - a guide for supporting children with severe learning disabilities and bereavement and grief.

Autistica - supports autistic children and young people through crisis, and has evidence resources on suicide for crisis workers.

Safe Places scheme - a service by Avon and Somerset Police to help vulnerable people with communication difficulties stay safe when they are out and about. The scheme is open to anyone who has communication difficulties, such as dementia or a learning disability, and frequents or resides in the Avon and Somerset force area. The scheme has no age limit.

Support and tools for the LGBTIQ+ community


SPACE LGBTQ Youth Group and 1-1 support run by Off the Record - for young people aged 13-21 years. There is also a group for under 13's called "Space to Be." Off the Record can support individuals with transport costs if needed. Email space@offtherecord-banes.co.uk or fill in their referral form

Gay West is a social and support group covering Bath and the surrounding area.

National support for you

Mind LGBTQI and Mental Health Page

NHS LGBTQ+ Mental Health Support

MindOut is a mental health service run by and for lesbians, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people. The service is based in Brighton and Hove but has national out-of-hours online chat service open Mondays - Sundays with various open times.

Galop is a LGBT+ anti-abuse charity which gives support and advice on various topics. They run 3 helplines:

Gendered intelligence is a charity that exists to increase understanding of gender diversity and improve trans people's quality of life. Contact the Support Line, Mondays - Fridays on 0330 355 9678

MindLine Trans provides emotional and mental health support helpline for anyone identifying as transgender, non-binary, genderfluid. Contact Monday, Wednesdays and Friday from 8pm - 12pm on 0330 330 5468

Imaan is a charity that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning LGBTQ Muslims, providing an online forum where people can share experiences and ask for help.

LGBTQ+ Switchboard provides information, support and referral for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people - and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and / or gender identity. Call 0300 330 0630, chat online, or email Live Through This is a cancer support and advocacy charity for the LGBTQ+ community.

National support for young people

Albert Kennedy Trust is a charity which works with LGBTQ+ young people at risk of homelessness. AKT Live Chat is open Mondays to Fridays and for LGBTQ+ young people aged 16 to 25 years. They have an office based in Bristol.

The Proud Trust is a LGBTQ charity for young people. Proud Connections is a new instant free confidential, messaging service for young people open 12pm to 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

National support for others

FFLAG is a voluntary organisation and charity dedicated to supporting families and their LGBTQ+ loved ones. Contact their helpline on 0300 688 0368, open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 8pm.

Micro Rainbows provides safe housing to and moving on programmes to LGBTQI asylum seekers and refugees

Pink Therapy is the UK's largest independent therapy organisation working with gender and sexual diversity clients. There is an online directory of qualified therapist’s who identify as or are understanding of minority and gender identity.

Support and tools for people with financial difficulty

Money and mental health are closely interconnected. The risk of people experiencing suicide ideation or attempts increase with the level of debt. Research by the Money and Mental Health Institute in 2021 found that 1 in 4 people with mental health problems had no savings to fall back on, which meant people had no safety net to see them through pandemic or for emergency expenses. Use the list below to find sources of support and tools to help anyone with financial and mental wellbeing.

Looking after your financial health

Mental Health and Money Advice is the first UK-wide online advice service designed to help you understand, manage, and improve your financial and mental health.

MoneyHelper brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers:

You can buy:

  • Money Advice Service
  • Pensions Advisory Service
  • Pension Wise

Call 0800 138 7777 or What'sApp 0800 138 7777. (Available Monday to Fridays, 8am to 6pm, and Saturdays, 8am to 3pm)

Clean Slate aims to do everything possible to enable people to improve their financial wellbeing. Call 01225 302200, email bath@cleanslateltd.co.uk, or make a referral

3B's Money Skills Training money advice programme for low-income households. Everyone is welcome to take part in a one-day workshop and access the one-to-one support on offer from people who know what it's like to live on a budget.

Help to manage debt

Citizen Advice B&NES gives free and independent debt advice. Call 0808 278 7897 (Monday to Fridays, 9.30am to 2.30pm)

National Debt Line gives free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. Call 0808 278 7897, use the webchat, or try their online advice tool.

Step Change the UK's leading debt charity. Contact them to get expert debt advice and fee-free debt management to help you tackle your debts. Call 0800 138 1111 or use the webchat

Breathing Space is a government-backed scheme that gives people temporary protection from most types of debt collection whilst they take action to get on top of their debts. You can only apply for 60 days Breathing Space through a debt advisor.

Short term crisis support

The B&NES Welfare Support Scheme provides B&NES residents with short-term, emergency help with living costs. Cash or loans cannot be provided but vouchers or help to buy essential items can be offered.

St John's Foundation Crisis Fund provides funding support to individuals and families in B&NES who are financially struggling. Funding is available for beds, white goods, furniture, carpets, counselling, debt support and basic employment skills and training. There is lots of information of additional funding opportunities on their website.

Sources of help for families

Great Western Credit Union Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. The GWR Credit Union (formerly known as Bristol Credit Union) provides fair and affordable financial services to people living or working in the South West.

Stop Loan Sharks The England Illegal Money Lending Team investigates and prosecutes illegal money lenders and provides support for borrowers in the UK.

Barclays Money Mentors provides free, confidential, and practical impartial guidance to anyone from budgeting, future planning, and financial queries. Choose between a phone or video call and sessions usually last 45 minutes. You don't need to be a Barclays customer to access this service they are open to anyone.

Healthy Start Vouchers for those pregnant or have children under the age of 4 years get free vouchers or payments every 4 weeks to spend on milk, fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk, pulses, and vitamins. Vouchers can be spent at various retail outlets.

Free school meals Free for all state school pupils in Reception, Year 1, and Year 2 pupils but also for families living on a low income and claiming certain benefits, your child may be able to get a free lunch until 2023.

Tesco Mobile Reconnects Tesco Mobile are running a scheme aimed at those who are in vulnerable and disadvantaged circumstances. A phone is supplied with 3 months credit to the user. To register interest and sign-up someone up to the scheme you send an email to tescomobile.littlehelps@tesco.com with the subject title "Tesco Mobile Reconnects" and note what benefits the service user joining the scheme would bring, and what device is needed, and they will send one out. The scheme is to running 2023.

Support and tools for specific sectors

While its good to talk to anyone about our mental health, sometimes you might want to speak to people who understand the challenges and issues you may be feeling in your line of work. Aside from the general support, below is a list of support and tools to help depending on the sector you work in.

Emergency responders (Ambulance, Fire, Police and Search & Rescue)

Blue Light Together is the place for UK Emergency services staff, volunteers, retirees and friends and family to find information, ideas, and support to help look after your mental health.

Health and social care

• Text “Frontline” to 85258 and you will be connected to a trained volunteer at any time of day or night.

Nurseline is a national UK-wide and peer lead listening helpline for supportive nurses, midwives, healthcare support workers, students, and friends/ allies. Call 0808 801 0455 (Monday to Fridays, 7pm to 11pm).

Togetherall is a mental health support service that provides anonymous 24/7 online support with counsellors, a supportive community, and free resources to support your mental health and wellbeing. All armed forces serving personnel, veterans and their families can access these services at any time.

Aviation industry

Pilots Together is a charity supporting pilots and their supporters. In August 2021 Pilots Together launched a mental health crisis service for pilots to text if they are struggling to cope. Pilots, regardless of employment status, can text “WePilots” to 85258 and you will be connected to a trained volunteer at any time of day or night.

Farming and rural industry

YANA provides support to anyone to involved in family and rural business who may be feeling low or if you are worried about a member of your family, colleague, or a friend. Call 0300 323 0400 or email helpline@yanahelp.org

The Little Book of Minding Your Head pocket guide is produced for those working in farming and allied industries and raises awareness of mental health and stress management.

Armed forces and veteran community

Samaritans Armed Forces guide

Op Courage: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service You can self refer, ask a GP to refer you, or ask a charity. It doesn’t matter how long you left the armed forces; you can contact Op Courage even if you left many years ago or are still serving but have a discharge date.

Combat Stress is a charity that provides free confidential 24/7 advice and support to veterans, family members and carers.

Togetherall is a mental health support service that provides anonymous 24/7 online support with counsellors, a supportive community, and free resources to support your mental health and wellbeing. All armed forces serving personnel, veterans and their families can access these services at any time.

Construction industry

ATK Productions, Ambanja Films and BAM Construction produced free suicide prevention film called On the Edge which aims to enable and encourage those affected to find a way to talk about what they are feeling.

The Lighthouse Club is a construction industry charity. The charity is running a campaign called “Help Inside the Hard Hat” to raise awareness of poor mental health within the construction industry.

Creative inductries

The Theatre Helpline provides free, independent, and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people with working the theatre industry.

The Film TV Charity has a 24/7 Support Line which provides free and confidential support for anyone in the community working behind the scenes in film, TV, and cinema. Contact about mental health and wellbeing worries to your hopes and ambitions.

•Industry Minds provides low-cost and free counselling to production companies across stage/screen and those working in the arts.

6th From the Spotlight is a non-profit Community Interest Company established to improve the mental wellbeing of music and film crews in the UK.