Health Select Committees final report on suicide prevention
The Government has published a progress report on its suicide prevention strategy but it must take tangible action to ensure effective implementation. So says the Health Committee in its final report on suicide prevention.
In December 2016, the Committee published an interim report on suicide prevention in order to inform the Government's updated suicide prevention strategy. The Government has now published its update to the strategy in the form of a progress report, the third of its kind.
Witnesses to the inquiry told the Committee that the underlying Government strategy is essentially sound but that the key problem lies with inadequate implementation. 95% of local authorities now have a suicide prevention plan, but there is currently little or no information about the quality of those plans. It is not enough simply to count the number of plans in existence—there must be a clear, effective quality assurance process and implementation at local and national level.
The Government's provision of funding for suicide prevention is welcome but the Committee is concerned that it will be too little and too late to implement the strategy as effectively as required. The Government must set out how it will make sure that funding is available for the actions outlined in their strategy.
On the release of the progress report Chair of the Health Committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, said: "The clear message we have heard throughout our inquiry is that suicide is preventable. The current rate of suicide is unacceptable and is likely to under-represent the true scale of the loss of life."
Future events of interest:
Improving Mental Health Crisis Care
Service User Experience in Mental Health
16 March 2017