Government appoints suicide prevention minister

 

Theresa May has appointed a minister for suicide prevention in England.

The Prime Minister said the appointment of Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price to the new role will help tackle the stigma surrounding suicide.

While suicide rates are falling, 4,500 people take their own lives every year.

The appointment comes as ministers and officials from more than 50 countries assemble in London for the summit.

Wednesday’s meeting – hosted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – coincides with World Mental Health Day.

The government has also promised more support in schools, bringing in new mental health support teams and offering help in measuring students’ health, including their mental wellbeing.

Ms May said: “We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence and prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives.”

Alongside the announcement, the prime minister pledged £1.8m to the Samaritans so the charity can continue providing its free helpline for the next four years.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling, there are a number of charities here to help.

The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Hannah Lewis – who campaigns for improvements to mental health services having suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and suicidal thoughts as a teenager – said that it can be a year before someone who is referred for help actually begins treatment.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Mental health is known to deteriorate when you are left without help, and you can only imagine how things got worse with me.”

TNT Health

Photo Credit: Chris McAndrew

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