World Mental Health Day: suicide prevention minister appointed

On World Mental Health Day (10 October) the UK government has announced the appointment of the first ever suicide prevention minister. How will this help?

Suicide is complex and it undoubtedly affects more people than we imagine it to. statistics from Samaritans show that in 2017 there were 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland, with 5,821 of those deaths registered in the UK.


With alarmingly high figures, it is clear a change needs to be made across the British Isles to support people who may be experiencing suicidal tendencies.

The news that Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a minister for suicide prevention in England is refreshing, yet there is still more to be achieved.

Looking at figures from 2017, the rate of deaths by suicide are decreasing with only 4,500 people dying by suicide. The appointment of Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price to the new role is to encourage open discussions and remove the lingering stigma and taboo around suicide.


Today will also see over 50 countries assembling in London for the first ever global mental health summit. The meeting will be hosted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and attended by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Hancock said the appointment of the new minister would also help people get help for other mental health conditions.

Calls for improved mental health services has been building in recent years and support for people experiencing suicidal thoughts can be difficult to obtain due to extreme pressure services are under.


Currently, suicide is the biggest cause of death amongst men under the age of 45, it is estimated that 84 men die by suicide every week in the UK.

In a bid to promote a better conversation of mental health and talking, The Only Way is Essex star Tommy Mallet is encouraging men to open up about their emotions.

After revealing his struggle with mental ill health, Mallet has created the hashtag #ICryBecause to provide a safe space for people to see that it’s OK not to be OK.

Despite improved discussions there is still a long way to go before mental health care and suicide prevention tactics are at the standard they should be.

Having a suicide prevention minister in England is a fantastic start, but there needs to be the same level of guidance across the UK and Northern Ireland.

What more do you think needs to be done to promote mental health and suicide prevention? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram.



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