In this edition we focus on the Prime Minister’s speech making mental health policy and improved suicide prevention priorities for the UK Government. We discuss a recent House of Commons Health Select Committee report on suicide prevention policy and the Department of Health’s updating of their Suicide Prevention Strategy (referenced in Theresa May’s speech). John also interviews Ian Marsh from our own University. Ian has written extensively about the way we treat suicide and the policy implications that result.
On Monday Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, will make a speech promising to improve mental health services and to reduce the suicide rate. The speech is, in part, a response to recommendations from NHS England’s mental health taskforce, and to the House of Commons Health Committee’s interim report on suicide prevention published just before Christmas. Whilst we welcome a renewed focus on suicide, we worry that (if you will excuse a macabre pun) the Government are flogging a dead horse. The central thrust of the proposals seems to be that we need to keep on doing what we’ve been doing (unsuccessfully) for decades, only more of it.