In an interim report published today, the Health Committee say the scale of avoidable loss of life by suicide is unacceptable and urge Government to prioritise a clear implementation strategy and increase support for public mental health and early intervention services in order to reduce the number of people who take their own lives.
Sophie Corlett, Mind's Director of External Relations, said:
“We welcome the report and its recommendations for how agencies and services can work together to reduce suicides. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) tell us that suicides are still rising year on year, which is hugely concerning. Every suicide is a tragedy and the reasons someone takes their own life are many and complex.
“Suicides are not inevitable, they can be prevented, with the right support in place. Suicide prevention plans can be really effective in reducing the number of deaths, but not every community has one. We want to see every local area develop a comprehensive plan that brings together all the relevant local services and agencies involved in supporting people at risk of suicide. One of the recommendations within the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health is for agencies to work together to commit to reduce suicides by 10 per cent between now and 2021 and we need to see this within the plans.
“Often people struggle in silence and find it difficult to know how to ask for help. If you’re feeling suicidal, talking to family and friends can make a real difference. Just telling someone that you feel suicidal can be a relief, and might be a good first step towards getting help. Friends and family can be there for you emotionally, but also help you think about what you need to keep yourself safe and get support.
"If you feel unable to talk to someone you know, contact your GP, call 999, go to A&E or call the Samaritans (116 123). You can also find more information on the Mind website (www.mind.org.uk) or through Mind’s confidential information and support line, Mind Infoline 0300 123 3393.”