Samaritans welcome new Welsh Government Strategy to reduce suicide in Wales

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PRESS RELEASE

Samaritans has today welcomed the launch of Talk to Me 2, the Suicide and Self-Harm Prevention Strategy and Action Plan for Wales.

Talk to Me 2 builds on the original Talk to Me plan, which was launched in 2009 and complements the Welsh Government’s Together for Mental Health strategy and the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010. Its overall strategic aim is to reduce the suicide rate in the general population.

Latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 393 suicides in those aged 15 and over in Wales in 2013; a rise of 59 deaths since 2012. The suicide rate for men is at its highest since 1981, with a 23 per cent rise between 2012 and 2013. In Wales, the male suicide rate has been significantly higher than the rate in England since 2010. The figures also show that suicide is the leading cause of death for 20-34 year olds.

Sarah Stone, Executive Director for Wales said –

‘We have welcomed the second phase of the Welsh Government’s Suicide and Self Harm Prevention Strategy and Action Plan, Talk to me 2. The existence of such plans, and their effective implementation, is vital for efforts to reduce suicide.

Reducing suicide requires a wide range of agencies to work together nationally and in local communities, to give people the best chance to turn their lives around when they are struggling

The commitment of the Welsh Government to a second phase of the strategy will make it easier for agencies to work together effectively to reduce suicides.”

Samaritans Cymru recently launched its manifesto for the National Assembly for Wales Elections 2016, ‘Four Steps to Save Lives’. The Manifesto aims to identify the best ways of reducing suicide in Wales.

Samaritans is asking the Assembly to introduce a minimum unit pricing policy for alcohol, to explore ways of ensuring  young people between the ages of 16 and 18 are supported in education and to challenge mental health stigma by supporting and co-ordinating campaigns specifically targeted at men.

Samaritans believes that together we can make a significant difference to the rate of suicide and find ways to respond to people in distress by working together, locally and nationally, to achieve real change in Wales.

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For more information about the work of Samaritans Cymru, please contact the Press team on: 029 2022 2008 or email e.harris@samaritans.org

 Notes to editors