Samaritans CEO responds to Jeremy Hunt’s statement on mental health patients dying by suicide
“Suicide is preventable and we are pleased to see an increased focus on the safety of people at risk of suicide who are in the care of mental health services. Every death is a tragedy and every person who takes their own life is someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.
At the same time, three times more people die by suicide than by road accidents and, of those, two thirds have had no contact with mental health services in the year before their death. Suicide is complex and it’s everybody’s business. It is only by working together that we can prevent the families, friends and communities of more than 6,000 people a year in the UK being devastated by the loss of a loved one to suicide.
“Suicide is also an inequality issue, with men from our poorest communities being ten times more likely to kill themselves than those in our most affluent areas. We need to build resilience across the country so that every local community understands suicide risk, how to recognise it, and how to put in place prevention measures, and target resources at those most at risk. Together, we can ensure that no one needs to struggle alone and that effective, accessible and relevant support is available to anyone who needs it, wherever they live and whatever their background or status in society.”
Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans CEO & Co-Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance (NSPA)
Notes to editors:
- Anyone can contact Samaritans in confidence for free from any phone on 116 123. Our number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.
- Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out about volunteering and other ways to donate or support us at www.samaritans.org.