Review of Protect Life 2 Action Plan commences

Date published: 02 January 2024

The Department of Health has commenced a Review of the Protect Life 2 Action Plan on suicide prevention.

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The Review provides an opportunity to take stock of progress to date on implementation of the extended Protect Life 2 Strategy (2019) and inform the future Action Plan for delivery.

The first stage of the review will be to seek the views of stakeholders and interested parties, beginning with a survey which opens today and will run for 3 weeks. 

Prof Sir Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, said: “Reducing suicide and self-harm is a challenge for society as a whole and across both statutory and voluntary organisations. The importance of working together on prevention cannot be underestimated and we are grateful to groups and individuals who have helped inform the Strategy and Action Plan to date. We value your contributions and are keen to hear your views on each action and how we can improve future delivery.

We will be contacting stakeholders involved in suicide prevention work in the coming days and I would encourage all to contribute.”

Surveys can be completed at

Following the conclusion of the survey a series of workshops will be held over the month of February to ensure maximum accessibility from all who wish to input to this Review. The workshops will provide scope for deeper exploration of the themes emerging from the survey. Workshops will be arranged across regional areas. Registration is essential. Details of venues and dates and booking can be found at

Prof Sir Michael continued: “Consultants have been appointed through the HSC Leadership Centre to lead the Review. This will be a rapid review and the Department has requested a final report by the end of March 2024. The Department will then update the Protect Life 2 Action Plan by end of June 2024.”

Terms of Reference for the Review are available on the Department’s website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Protect Life 2 Strategy (2019) was extended by the Department of Health for a further three years to the end of 2027, with the potential for an additional extension to 2029. 
  2. This decision was taken given challenges in implementing Protect Life 2 against a difficult financial situation and delays due to the necessary response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. As part of the Strategy extension, the Department agreed to undertake a Review to inform the future Action Plan and Strategy implementation.
  4. The existing Protect Life 2 Strategy is available on the Department’s website: Protect Life 2 - Suicide Prevention Strategy | Department of Health (
  5. The Lifeline helpline is available on 0808 808 8000 24/7 for anyone in distress of despair.
  6. Most recent statistics from NISRA showed 203 deaths by suicide in Northern Ireland in 2022. These are available at:  Suicide statistics 2022 | Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (
  7. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by e-mail:
  8. Follow us on X @healthdpt. and linkedIn Department of Health NI | LinkedIn.
  9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours’ service for Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The Duty Press Officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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