10 October 2018
To mark World Mental Health Day, the Government has announced that Mental Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price MP will be given the additional role of Minister for Suicide Prevention.
The Minister will be responsible for ensuring that local authorities have plans in place to stop suicide and will also be looking at how technology can help to identify those at risk of suicide.
Kathryn Scott, BPS Director of Policy and Communications, says:
“This is the first time the Government has appointed a Minister for Suicide Prevention and it’s a welcome and significant move. Psychologists know that prevention and early intervention are vital to reducing the number of suicides in this country.
"Early identification of suicidal thoughts and behaviours, and effective care for those of us at risk are crucial in ensuring people receive the care they need and deserve.”
While there has been a recent fall in the number of suicides, the decline has slowed and the BPS is calling for more action to strengthen care and safety planning. Another key area is the need to tackle stigma and improve training on identification and prevention in health, social care and education.
“One of the most important challenges for Mrs Doyle-Price is that we all need to understand better the barriers – physical and psychological - that prevent people asking for help,” continued Ms Scott.
The new Minister for Suicide Prevention should prioritise the following five actions: