Barnet Council has won an award for its suicide prevention campaign, offering aid and alternative solutions to people at risk of ending their own lives.

The council was handed the Best Digital Initiative accolade during an online awards ceremony for the UK Public Health Register (PHR) Chamberlain Dunn Awards.

It follows the launch of a Stay Alive app, which is full of useful information to help you stay safe.

The campaign launched in 2021 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, as a response to local data which suggested that between 2016 and 2019, Barnet lost 89 people to suicide – on average, one person every 16 days.

The borough-wide initiative was devised by the council with input from Grassroots suicide prevention, CommUNITY Barnet and Andy’s Man Club.

Dr Tamara Djuretic, Joint Director of Public Health and Prevention, said:

“It is fantastic to see that such an important campaign, which involved a lot of hard work and collaboration between teams in the council and local charities, has been recognised nationally.

“Well done to Seher Kayikci (Senior Public Health Strategist), Emma Lee-Burton (Senior Campaigns Manager), Jen Ross (Senior Communications and Campaigns Manager), all the partner organisations involved and rest of the Team Barnet on this well-deserved award.”

Some of the aspects of the campaign that captured the judging panel and ultimately won Barnet the award included demonstration of strong partnership working, sensitive approach to a difficult subject, changing the way we work in terms of targeting campaigns using digital promotion and community engagement.

Other councils are using Barnet’s Suicide Prevention campaign as a case study.

The teams involved have presented and shared their learnings with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities. National Suicide Prevention Alliance published the council’s evaluation report.

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