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Mental Health Awareness Week 2021- Suicide prevention

The Greater Manchester Housing First pilot and the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust have worked together to support some of the most vulnerable people in the 10 boroughs and our Dual Diagnosis Practitioners use their unique expertise to provide support to those on the pilot.

As part of Mental Health Awareness week, this blog is from a dual diagnosis perspective as many of our clients suffer from substance misuse and mental health. We wanted to take to consider the topic of suicide both generally and in the homeless population and raise awareness of suicide prevention and bereavement support across Greater Manchester.

We will provide information about support for people who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, those concerned for others and those bereaved by suicide. The resources have been brought together in reflection of the work being coordinated by the Greater Manchester Suicide Prevention and Bereavement Support Programme.

If you find yourself affected by the issues covered in this blog and require support, we recommend you contact the numbers at the bottom of this post. Additionally, for staff working in GM Housing First, our Dual Diagnosis staff are also here to talk through anything that you may want to. It may be worth adding the number for Samaritans here too.

In 2019 research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that suicide amongst homeless people increased by 30.2% in one year, from 86 estimated deaths in 2018 (11.8 per cent of the total number), to 112 estimated deaths in 2019 (14.4 per cent of the total number). In addition, 61% of the study sample (330 people) reported suicidal ideation and 34 per cent had attempted suicide.

Preliminary evidence suggests that suicide rates in England did not rise during the first national lockdown in 2020 despite higher levels of greater distress. However, it is vital to note these are early figures and there may be increases in suicides in some populations or geographical areas.

Additionally, there is still concern about the longer-term effects of the pandemic, particularly economic stresses, and the impact of this on homelessness where suicide rates have previously been seen to rise.

With one in five of us thinking of suicide at some point in our lives, the need to raise awareness and offer support has never been more relevant to us all.

As part of our work with the pilot, we support people who display stress and using our expertise we are able to work with GMHF colleagues and third party services to ensure clients get the right support at the right time.


A range of training is available to help, here are two free resources that you may find of interest:

We Need To Talk About Suicide

Health Education England have developed a learning tool to help health professionals and the wider public spot early warning signs of suicide, the training is free and can be accessed via

The Zero Suicide Alliance

Suicide awareness training session takes less than 30 minutes to complete and is free. It will equip you with the skills and confidence to ask someone if they are thinking about suicide and works towards the wider aim of breaking down the stigma around suicide.


Papyrus Hopeline UK

Papyrus offers a service to young people below the age of 35 years experiencing thoughts of suicide, and those who may be concerned for them, through their HOPELINEUK helpline.

If you’re worried about a young person who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, or you’re a professional who needs to debrief following a conversation about suicide, get in touch with one of their suicide prevention advisors, seven days per week.

Call: 0800 068 4141

Text: 07860 039 967

Home | Papyrus UK | Suicide Prevention Charity (

Shining a Light on Suicide is a Greater Manchester focused website for those thinking of suicide, concerned for another, or for anyone who has been bereaved by suicide. You can find Stories of Hope films, links to Safety Plans and read of current campaign events on the website

For those in Greater Manchester suicide bereaved, there is an online creative suicide bereavement peer support community. You can join via

In addition, there are groups run by Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (

Greater Manchester Bereavement Service

For bereavement support – including suicide bereavement support- you can call the Greater Manchester Bereavement Service

Tel: 0161 983 0902 or Email:

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm (excluding bank holidays)

On this site, you can find out about support in your area and nationally, as well as advice for practical issues that losing a loved one may bring.

Support Lines

NHS Bereavement Support Line

If you need to speak with someone at a weekend about a bereavement, please call NHS Bereavement Helpline on 0800 2600 400, available 8am to 8pm every day.


0800 068 41 41 (Mon-Fri: 10am-10pm, weekends & bank holidays: 2pm-10pm)


Call 116 123 free (24 hours)


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