The Prime Minister Theresa May has today [Monday, 17 June 2019] announced a package of measures to transform mental health support in our schools, workplaces and communities.
Today’s statement means there’ll be extra support to make sure people know how to promote good mental health in the same way that they look after physical wellbeing.
Downing Street said the plan would include extra cash for councils to "strengthen and deliver local suicide prevention plans". Funding is also allocated for training all new teachers to help them spot mental health problems in their pupils; and new professional standards for social workers to boost their knowledge of mental health issues.
Ruth Sutherland CEO of Samaritans said the investment package that’s allocated for local authorities this year to support suicide prevention, is an important step in the right direction:
As a charity who campaigns to make suicide prevention a national and local priority, with a vision that fewer people die by suicide, we welcome this announcement. For too long mental health has not been openly talked about due to the stigma attached. This announcement today is another step towards banishing that stigma and giving people the tools and resources to tackle it. We cannot prevent suicide in isolation, it is everybody’s business, and requires engagement on a national and local level, cross-sector and from the public. Local action is critical to save lives, and local authorities have a central part to play in this. It will be critical to maximise the impact of this investment. By using evidence-based research and working together, not only will it avoid duplication of resources, but it will ensure the best expertise is pooled to achieve the common goal. Samaritans has undertaken an analysis of local plans in England with the University of Exeter which we hope to publish next week. We found a keen commitment to prevent deaths by suicide in the face of limited resources. We want this investment to go towards implementing the recommendations in our report and we believe this will help save more lives.
Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans