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Trust launch suicide prevention strategy on World Mental Health Day

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Senior leaders, staff, service users and carers at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust have spoken out about their personal and professional experiences of suicide in a film to encourage more people to talk about suicide.  

The Trust has launched a Suicide Prevention, Learning and Support strategy to improve patient safety by learning from incidents, reduce suicide and improve the experience of patients, carers and staff.

The film has been released to coincide with World Mental Health Day 2019, which this year focuses on Suicide Prevention.

In the film Simon Sherring, Deputy Director of Nursing and Director of Quality talks about his step-mother, who died by suicide. Beverley Murphy, Chief Operating Officer also shares her personal experience. Both explain how even as mental health nurses, the signs that someone might take their own life are very hard to spot.

Simon Sherring said: “This work is important to me for personal and professional reasons. We want to raise awareness of suicide and the need to do all we can to prevent it. The ripples of a suicide impacts on so many people. I hope this films encourages more people to talk about suicide.”

Beverley Murphy said: “We need to look out for the signs, we need to ask the questions and we need to make it okay for people to talk about suicide, because suicide is happening in our communities.”
The strategy includes four key ways of reducing suicide including building healing relationships with service users, focusing on procedural safety, sharing learning from incidents, and effective partnership working – the routine involvement of patient and carers.

Nicola Byrne, Deputy Medical Director: “Suicide is a subject that matters to us all, whether personally or professionally. We’re not going to make progress with patient safety and suicide prevention unless we think about how we learn from deaths and how we support each other.

“We want to work together as staff, patients and carers to share our experiences and ideas for how we can provide safer, better care for all, within treatment relationships, teams and systems that are experienced as healing and supportive, for everyone involved.”

For more information about Crisis Support visit or the Samaritans at

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