A NATIONAL CHARITY says greater analysis of suicides will help to expose systemic failures and help to shape new life-saving strategies. PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide has been campaigning for a more detailed study into the findings of Prevention of Future Death Reports (PFDs) which are issued by coroners.

On 29 March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published its first analysis of PFDs from suicide inquests across England and Wales, highlighting how lives have been lost because of flawed processes, staff failings and inadequate care plans.

The Chief Executive of PAPYRUS, Ged Flynn, said: “We believe that many suicides can be prevented and this new thematic analysis of PFDs will help us to identify how individuals and families may have been let down or what might be undertaken to prevent further tragedies.”

“We welcome that, for the first time in England and Wales, the ONS is now looking systematically at common themes in these deaths by suicide. This is about bringing all the evidence together, looking at the bigger picture and seeing how we must learn lessons.”

Coroners have the power to issue a PFD to an individual, organisation, local authority, government department or agency where they believe actions should be taken to prevent future deaths. There has been criticism that the reports vary in quality. While they prompt actions locally, there has been no national overview of PFDs until now.

PAPYRUS says regular, detailed and trusted analysis by the ONS is just the beginning. “For many bereaved people PFD reports are an important part of the coronial process. Often, the real hope is that lessons will be learned and the same thing will not happen to someone else. The challenge now is to take the new learning and push for it to be part of effective new strategies and policies which keep our communities suicide-safe”, added Ged Flynn.

PAPYRUS aims to reduce the number of young people who take ,their own lives by breaking down the stigma around suicide and equipping people with the skills to recognise and respond to suicidal behaviour.

HOPELINEUK is the charity’s confidential helpline service providing practical advice and support to young people with thoughts of suicide and anyone concerned about a young person who may have thoughts of suicide.

* Read the Office for National Statistics’ Prevention of Future Death Reports for Suicide submitted to coroners in England and Wales: January 2021 to October 2022 here.

For practical, confidential suicide prevention help and advice please contact PAPYRUS HOPELINEUK on 0800 068 4141, text 07860 039967 or email [email protected]

* Source: PAPYRUS UK