Suicide prevention: identifying and responding to suicide clusters

This toolkit, based on research of suicide clusters, is part of PHE's support for the government’s suicide prevention strategy.



This document is for people with responsibility for suicide prevention in local authorities and their partner agencies.

The document includes:

  • the meaning of the term ‘suicide clusters’
  • identification of suicide clusters
  • suggestions for who may be at risk of suicidal acts due to the influence of other people’s suicidal behaviour,
  • the mechanisms involved in suicide clusters
  • the effects of suicide on other individuals

The steps required at local level to prepare for a suicide cluster are described alongside suggested responses to possible suicide clusters.

Finally, best practice is provided on how to evaluate responses to a cluster, and on using the experience to improve further suicide prevention measures.