At James’ Place we believe every suicide is an avoidable death. Our mission is to stop men dying by suicide. Every day, we work to ensure that every man who is facing a suicidal crisis gets the support he so urgently needs. Each year over 6,000 people die by suicide in the UK, and three quarters of these are men; suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50 and rates have been rising in the UK. There is no specialist therapy available on the NHS for men at risk of taking their own life.

Our vision is to establish a nationwide network of centres to support men at risk of suicide, building on our success in Liverpool, and our new London service which opened virtually in summer 2020. We are working hard towards opening a physical centre in East London this year. Over the next five years we aim to open three further centres, working closely with NHS and community partners, with each helping up to 300 men per year.

At James’ Place we provide a safe therapeutic space in which men feel welcomed and cared for. Each man is assigned a trained professional therapist, who works with him to understand his crisis, find hope for the future, and prevent the crisis returning.

Our work is independently evaluated by Liverpool John Moores University and shows significant improvements for the men using our service: a drop of 40 points on the Core Outcome 34 measure, from severe suicidal distress to mild symptoms.

Impact of Syncona’s support

Syncona’s funding has helped us to set up a pioneering approach to working with men in suicidal crisis. This support has been pivotal, and has enabled us to pilot a new approach which is saving lives.

In 2020 we moved all our Liverpool services online during lockdown, remodelling our approach to this new environment and accelerated the launch of our London service. We also developed a specialist intervention for NHS and care home staff facing psychological crisis resulting from their work in the pandemic.

Our intervention costs around £1,500 per man; the cost of a suicide is estimated at £1.5m. Syncona’s support has been vital in making this work happen.


“I lost my eldest son, James, to suicide. He was 21 when he died. He was one of those life and soul characters, very loved by everybody. He had a minor operation, 10 days before he died. After the operation he descended into this terrible depression. We tried to offer the support and love that we believed was sufficient to get him through this difficult patch. I wish I could have saved him.”
Clare Milford Haven, who founded James’ Place in 2018 with Nick Wentworth-Stanley following their loss.

I wasn’t going anywhere, I had one thing on my mind and one thing only. I wouldn’t have survived. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. It was totally different to what I’d been used to, it was more like speaking to a family member or a friend than a therapist. The warmth – you can feel it as soon as you walk through the door. The people in there are amazing, they rebuilt me.”
A service user who received support at James’ Place in Liverpool

"James’ Place felt like someone’s home, it felt safe there, and it keeps you at peace. One of the things for me was not being able to talk, so going to James’ Place and feeling like I was in an environment where I could talk helped me resolve a lot of issues."
A service user who received support at James’ Place in Liverpool

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James' Place