helplines partnershipHelplines Partnership has called for the government to increase funding to helplines following an increase in the numbers of suicides in the UK over the past four years.

The Department of Health's first annual report on the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives found that there were 4,513 suicide deaths in 2012 and suggested that the recent financial crisis meant an update to the prevention strategies set up in 2003 needed updating.

Helplines Partnership, which represents non face-to-face support providers across the UK, believes this should include more "sustainable funding solutions for not for profit helplines that offer emotional support" to help cope with a 40% increase in the number of calls received by helplines that offer emotional support over the past year.

The Government has pledged to invest £1.5 million into research projects to better understand the trend of increased suicide but Jane Powell, CEO of Helplines member CALM, says increased support needs to be made available now.

"77% of suicides in the UK are male and CALM is the only suicide prevention helpline for men. We've found that our gender-specific approach is effective in reaching men of all ages," she said.

"Last year CALM was took over 30,000 calls to our free, anonymous and confidential helpline, and have had to increase our opening hours to and staff on the line to respond to the increase in demand."

Helplines provide a key role supporting vulnerable people together with their carers, families and friends and healthcare professionals and the Partnership has recently set up their 'Find a Helpline' service to make it easier for people to find the right source of support.

"Helplines Partnership has encouraged helpline consultation on the government’s suicide prevention strategy which refers to ‘No Health Without Mental Health’ in which we featured under our former name Mental Health Helplines Partnership,” said Theodore Spyrou from Helplines Partnership.

"We strongly endorse the work of all our members and encourage people to find appropriate support by searching for helpline services at"
Read the full Preventing Suicide in England: One year on report at: