Year: 2006 Source: Journal of Psychiatry and Mental Health Nursing, v.13, no.6, (December 2007), p.641-650 SIEC No: 20070914

Suicide is recognized as a global phenomenon and many countries now have national suicide prevention strategies. International guidance on suicide prevention and accepted epidemiological and treatment-based research underpins healthcare policy relating to suicide reduction. There has been an established comprehensive strategy in England since 2002. However, the rate of suicide continues to be a concern and nurses hold a key role in the implementation of national, regional and local policy into practice. The aim of this paper is to consider the current implications of the national suicide prevention strategy in England for nursing. This discussion paper draws upon both empirical evidence-based literature, governmental guidance and policy-related documentation. The national suicide prevention strategy for England currently continues to have a multifaceted impact on the nursing profession. This ranges from clinical practice issues such as risk assessment through to broader public health responsibilities. If nurses and allied health professionals are to be effective in their role within suicide prevention, they will need to be supported in building awareness of the wider context of the national policy. In particular, this will mean working effectively and collaboratively with the voluntary sector, service users and other non-medical agencies.