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Zero suicides’ ambition needed in NHS


20 January 2015

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NHS trusts should commit to a “zero suicides” ambition claimed the Deputy Prime Minister.

Speaking at a mental health conference yesterday, Nick Clegg discussed the future of the mental health services in the UK.

He highlighted that regions such as Mersey Care (Liverpool), South West England and East of England have already made a commitment and that suicide rates in these areas have been dramatically reduced.

NHS trusts should commit to a “zero suicides” ambition claimed the Deputy Prime Minister.

Speaking at a mental health conference yesterday, Nick Clegg discussed the future of the mental health services in the UK.

He highlighted that regions such as Mersey Care (Liverpool), South West England and East of England have already made a commitment and that suicide rates in these areas have been dramatically reduced.

He said: “Suicide is, and always has been, a massive taboo in our society. People are genuinely scared to talk about it, never mind intervene when they believe a loved one is at risk.

“That’s why I’m issuing a call to every part of the NHS to commit to a new ambition for zero suicides. We already know that this kind of approach can work in dramatically reducing suicides.

“This isn’t about blame. It is doing more in every area of our society to ensure that people don’t get to that point where they believe taking their own life is their only option.”

Almost 4,700 people died by suicide in 2013 in England – almost 3,700 (78%) of those people were men, with suicide remaining one of the biggest killers for men under the age of 50.

The conference is part of a wider campaign by the Deputy Prime Minister to bring treatment for mental health problems out of the shadows and in line with physical health.

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