New £10 million suicide prevention programme launched in London as data reveals rise in suicides 

London’s City Bridge Foundation has launched a £10 million suicide prevention programme as London suicide figures rose in 2023, data reveals.

The charity has allocated £4.2 million in strategic funding to tackle systemic issues around suicide prevention and £5.8 million in grassroots funding to reduce isolation and boost community connection for those most at risk.

The funding, available to London organisations, aims to make London a zero-suicide city.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed 10 people take their own life in the capital every week.

Giles Shilson, City Bridge Foundation chairman, said: “Every life lost to suicide is a human tragedy, many of which can be avoided with the right support and early intervention. 

“It’s a complex issue and one that requires strategic, co-ordinated action.

“As far as we’re aware, this is the only programme of its scale and breadth in the country, funding both strategic suicide prevention projects and grassroots programmes.

“We hope it will have a significant impact in tackling societal issues that hinder suicide prevention and providing the early help people need before they reach crisis point.”

The ONS recently revealed England’s provisional quarterly suicide figures for 2023.

They show a rise in London suicide figures in 2023, up 5.6% on 2022, with men making up 72% of suicide deaths in the capital last year.

Despite the rise, London had the lowest suicide rate of any region in England with the highest rate found in the North East. 

The data also revealed 5,578 suicides registered in England in 2023.

This equated to a 6% rise from 2022 with 11.1 suicide deaths per 100,000 people, significantly higher than previous years.

A clearer picture will be available in Autumn 2024 when the provisional figures will be finalised in the annual suicides bulletin.

Lynette Charles, chair of mental health charity Mind in London, said: “This suicide prevention funding comes at a critical time to ensure that we work both strategically and locally to reverse this trend.

“We are all concerned by the news that English suicide figures for 2023 have shown a rise of 6%. 

“Even one suicide is too many and we must do more to reverse this.”

The City Bridge Foundation programme was devised following in-depth research into existing programmes and input from an advisory group who have experienced suicidal ideation or bereavement through suicide. 

The strategic funding, open for applications now, prioritises embedding lived experience in suicide prevention schemes, workforce support and improving access to data and is available for existing or new partnerships. 

The grassroots funding, open for applications in June, aims to reach those most at risk, particularly middle-aged men experiencing deprivation and people at key moments of change such as pregnancy, leaving care or prison, ensuring they do not slip through the net.

Those organisations who are successful in their funding application will also receive suicide prevention training and will be supported by a learning partner who will gather and share learning in the sector. 

People can find more information and apply for funding for grassroots projects online and find more information about strategic funding here.

When life is difficult, Samaritans can help – day or night, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visit to find your nearest branch.

Featured image credit: Centre for London (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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