Samaritans' statement on mental health budget cuts

Fiona Malcolm, Samaritans deputy chief executive, said: “We are extremely concerned to hear that so many Clinical Commissioning Groups around the UK are considering budget cuts to mental health services next year.

“By pledging to implement the findings of the Mental Health Taskforce, the Government made a commitment to improving mental health care, that indicated a move towards mental health being taken as seriously as physical health.

“The cuts make it harder to put in place effective action to reduce suicide locally.

“In an upcoming campaign, Local Action Saves Lives, Samaritans is calling for on all local authorities to have multi-agency plans in place to reduce suicide.

“Last year in the UK more than 6,000 people took their own lives, and every six seconds someone contacts Samaritans, which shows that too many people are struggling and at risk of suicide,” Fiona said.

“Samaritans believes that suicide is everybody’s business. Currently more people die by suicide than in road accidents, and if we are serious about reducing these figures we need to make it a priority that suicide prevention and mental health services are properly resourced.”