Dr Neil Hudson MP has welcomed the launch of Government’s new National Suicide Prevention Strategy pledging to reduce England’s suicide rate within 2.5 years.
Thousands more people approaching a crisis will get the support they so desperately need, and it is hoped fewer loved ones will go through the heartbreak of losing a friend or relative to suicide, as the government takes more than 100 measures to rapidly reduce England’s suicide rate. These include:
- A new national alert system to notify relevant authorities – like schools, universities, and charities – of emerging methods of suicides and risks, and any required actions that can reduce access or limit awareness.
- Fresh guidance issued to first responders, recognising new and emerging methods and how such incidents should be dealt with.
- Near real-time surveillance of trends in tragic suicides to be introduced on a national scale this year – enabling more timely and targeted actions.
- A government pledge to collaborate with countries around the world to target and stop suppliers of dangerous and lethal substances at the source.
The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan sets out an ambition to grow the mental health workforce by 73% by 2036 to 2037, and the workforce already continues to grow to help cut waiting lists – one of this government’s top five priorities. In March 2023, there were almost 9,300 more mental health staff working than the previous year.
Having been spurred into politics following the devastation he witnessed as a Veterinary Inspector during the 2001 Foot and Mouth Crisis and keen that communities should be better supported when faced with mental trauma, Dr Hudson has made boosting the nation’s mental health a cornerstone of his parliamentary service. In recent months, his mental health undertakings have included:
- Securing a review of the school curriculum to hopefully teach safe and age-appropriate suicide prevention to young people alongside mental-health champions 3 Dads Walking. Having met the Prime Minister, the Education Secretary and the Mental Health Minister, Dr Hudson and the 3 Dads are optimistic that positive change will be forthcoming.
- Instigating a report highlighting acute pressures on rural mental health provision as part of his membership of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee. Calling attention to a range of issues from isolation and poor digital and physical connectivity to shock events such as extreme weather and animal disease outbreaks, an official Government response is due imminently.
- Encouraging local organisations to apply to the Government’s new £10 million Suicide Prevention Grant Fund an promote more preventative approaches to mental health provision.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said:
“It is hard to put words to just how devastating the impact of suicide is for families and communities.
“That is why I’m so keen to endorse such a comprehensive strategy that aims reduce the number of suicides in England through early intervention – allowing more than two million additional people to benefit from vital NHS-funded support by 2024. By talking about and acting on mental health we can help each other within society.”
The 3 Dads Walking also endorsed the strategy with Mike Palmer telling ITV Granada:
“It is certainly encouraging that the Government is taking this societal problem seriously.
"3 Dads Walking believe embedding Suicide Prevention early will underpin this strategy.
"We are working hard with the Department of Education to make this happen and it is good to see this work in progress specifically mentioned.”
Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, added:
“Too many people are still affected by the tragedy of suicide, which is so often preventable.
“This national cross-government strategy details over one hundred actions we’ll take to ensure anyone experiencing the turmoil of a crisis has access to the urgent support they need.
“It’s imperative we support people earlier to prevent them reaching the lowest point, while tackling emerging methods of suicide, and eradicating harmful material online.
“We’re working at pace to achieve this, and we continue to invest billions of pounds to transform and improve our nation’s mental health services and – most importantly – save lives.”