Skip navigation
ADPH seal logo

NE Public Mental Health Network

A North East Local Authority and Office of Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) Public Mental Health and Suicide Prevention leads network that provides an opportunity for shared and improved practice in relation to the planning and delivery of public mental health interventions across the life course.

What is Public Mental Health

Public mental health is concerned with promoting mental wellbeing, preventing future mental health problems and with the recovery from mental health problems” this is inclusive of prevention, early intervention to addressing the wider determinants that assist recovery.

The Five Year Forward view for mental health NHS 2016

Public Mental Health

“Everyone, irrespective of where they live, has the opportunity to achieve good mental health and wellbeing, especially communities facing the greatest barriers and those people who have to overcome the most disadvantages. This includes those living with and recovering from mental illness.”

The overall ambition is to lead a system-wide effort to achieve measurable improvements in public mental health.

  1. Promotion: Improve the population’s mental health and wellbeing.
  2. Prevention: Prevent suicide and mental health problems.
  3. Improving lives: Improve the lives of people with mental health problems, supporting their physical health, recovery and inclusion.

Better Mental Health requires action:

  • across all three overlapping goals: universal for the whole population and for those at risk of or experiencing mental health problems.
  • across the life course to strengthen protective factors and reduce risk factors.

Recent research by the World Health Organisation identified these as: financial wellbeing/ security, housing/ living conditions, social capital, education, employment and working conditions and access to health services.


A mentally healthy population will have mentally healthy;

Sunderland Riverside


The Five Year Forward view for Mental Health 2016 and the NHS Long term plan 2019 places a responsibility on Public Health England (OHID) and Local Authorities to take a lead in the planning and delivery of public mental health prevention interventions inclusive of suicide prevention.

The national Prevention Concordat for better mental health for all guidance document (PHE 2017) provides guidance on “at scale” prevention activity across the whole system, placing the lead agency responsibility with the Local Authority for local place – based prevention planning and delivery.

In relation to suicide prevention there is an expectation that each Local Authority will have a Suicide Prevention Plan based upon a local audit and have oversight and coordination of a range of interventions and activity aimed at reducing the number of suicides.

There is a PHOF indicator of 10% suicide reduction target shared with the NHS.

At a suicide prevention master class held in November 2016 there was acknowledgment of the value of coming together, sharing practice and working in collaboration to address shared common issues and concerns. Whilst exploring greater value for money through collaborative commissioning.

In 2018, NHS England launched a programme of work via the suicide prevention transformation fund. Shortly afterwards suicide prevention was identified as a priority workstream within the newly emerging North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS). The Zero Suicide “Every Life Matters” group was established as part of the mental health workstream, to provide a level of regional coordination and oversee the spend and subsequent activity funded via the suicide prevention transformation grant. This programme of work attempts to build upon and be directly informed by place- based working and the local suicide prevention planning coordinated and delivered by local authorities.

In 2018, the North East ADPH network agreed that suicide prevention should be a focus of regional sector led improvement work. An exercise was undertaken to share, compare and bench mark local suicide prevention plans identifying gaps and areas of best practice.

North Tyneside Coast

Suicide Prevention

National Association for the Directors of Public Health (ADPH) has made available finance for suicide prevention through local authority sector-led improvement activity.  The North East Public Mental Health Network on behalf of ADPH North East has successfully applied for funding for this programme through the national sector led improvement programme

  • Based upon areas identified in recent Real Time Data Surveillance (RTDS) analysis as being significant factors that increase the risk and likelihood of suicide.
  • These have been developed by the regional Public Mental Health Network in consultation with the SLI lead DPH and lead DPH for Mental Health.
  • These will add value to the existing/recent work from 2019-20, Network priorities, and support local and regional work led through the Integrated Care System.

Priorities for Suicide Prevention are reviewed via the Public Mental Health Network (PMH) with a steering group in place for suicide prevention and project specific task & finish groups to oversee research. With DsPH approval, the group re-confirmed the following three key priorities for 2022/23:

1.Self-harm – To establish a greater understanding of the presentation and management of self -harm and self-harming behaviours amongst children and young people in different service settings in the North East and North Cumbria.

2.Financial difficulty – Debt, financial literacy and financial management support including gambling where appropriate.

3.Workplace – Industry based development of targeted resources.

Find out more

Working in partnership

Back to top