Cross-government suicide prevention plan published

The government has published the first cross-government suicide prevention plan, with a focus on how social media and the latest technology can identify those at risk of suicide.

There are 4,500 suicides each year in England, and around 13 people end their life every day. Men are three times more likely to die by suicide than women, and suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 50.

Led by the Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Jackie Doyle-Price, the plan sets out actions for local government, the NHS and the criminal justice system. This commits the government to improving data held on causes of death among veterans to better understand the triggers that can lead someone to take their own life, such as debt and gambling addiction.

Alongside a greater focus on addressing the increase in suicide and self-harm among young people, the plan also includes every local authority putting an effective suicide prevention plan in place, ensuring every mental health trust has a zero-suicide ambition plan for mental health inpatients by the end of this year, and addressing the specific needs of the highest risk groups, including middle-aged men, with £25 million funding.

Jackie Doyle-Price said: “As a society we need to do everything we can to support vulnerable and at-risk people, as well as those in crisis, and give them the help they desperately need. I will be working with local councils, the NHS and the justice system to make sure suicide prevention plans are put in place across public services.

“Together, we will do everything in our power to meet our ambition to reduce suicides by at least 10 per cent by 2020 – and I look forward to working collaboratively with social media and tech companies to help achieve our ambitions.”

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