The importance of having ‘safety plan’ interventions in place for those at risk of suicide was highlighted at a recent talk among experts on self-harm.

The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health (NCISH) - which is working with other organisations including the Manchester Self-Harm Project (MASH), to support NHS Integrate Care Systems across England to improve community-based services and care for people who self-harm - explored the topic of safety planning at its latest monthly meeting.

One American-based study, by Stanley et al (2018), described at the meeting, found patients who visited the emergency department (ED) for suicidal-related concerns and who received ‘safety planning intervention’ with structured follow-up phone contact, were half has likely to exhibit suicidal behaviour and more than twice as likely to attend mental health treatment during the six-month follow-up period, compared to counterparts who received usual care following their ED visit.

A systematic review by Ferguson et al in 2021 also found safety planning intervention was associated with reduction in suicidal behaviour and ideation and in depression and hopelessness.

Another study, by Nuji et al in 2021, mentioned at the meeting, found safety-planning type interventions were associated with reductions in suicidal behaviour, but not on suicidal ideation.

NCISH at the University of Manchester’s monthly clinics are an opportunity for people to pose any questions to research experts in the management of self-harm from the Manchester Self-Harm Project and the Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC) and to talk to other ICSs who are working to improve their local services. 

Anyone working on a project relating to self-harm can join in the clinics.


Upcoming clinics: 

*‘Self-harm in older adults’ on July 28th from 10am to noon - register here.

*‘Follow-up care after attendance at hospital’ on September 29th from 10am to noon - register here

*'Minority ethnic groups' on October 27th 10am to noon - register here.

*'LGBTQ+ and self-harm' on November 24th 10am to 11.30am - register here.


After registering, a confirmation email will be sent out containing information on how to join the clinic.

The University of Manchester’s Manchester Self-Harm Project (MASH) website is a developing resource which is regularly updated, including with recordings of previous talks and events. Visit: