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5th August 2016
HM Government's Health Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into the action which is necessary to improve suicide prevention in England. The Government states that, "When someone takes their own life, the effect on their family, friends and the wider community is devastating. The Government published Preventing Suicide in England: A cross-governmental outcomes strategy to save lives, in 2012, and two updates have been published since (in 2014 and 2015 (PDF 482KB)). The Health Committee seeks to examine what further action should be take to prevent suicide."
PAPYRUS has made a written submission to the inquiry.
Suicide remains the leading cause of death in the UK in both males and females under 35 years of age.
Suicide rates in England have been rising in recent years, reaching 4,882 in 2014, the most recent year for which official national statistics are available.
Suicide disproportionately affects men, with male suicides accounting for over three quarters of all UK suicides in 2014. There has been a 14% increase in female suicide between 2013 and 2014, demonstrating the necessity of work targeted at both sexes.
The Health Committee seeks to examine what further action should be taken to prevent suicide.
Terms of reference
The Health Committee invites written submissions on the following points:
The factors influencing the increase in suicide rates, with a focus on particularly at-risk groups
The social and economic costs of suicide and attempted suicide
The measures necessary to tackle increasing suicide rates, and the barriers to doing so—in particular the Committee will consider the role of:
Local authorities and partner organisations, including police, transport police, the rail industry, fire services, schools, youth services, and drug and alcohol services
Mental health services and other parts of secondary care, including A&E and psychiatric liaison services
Primary care services
Referrals from non-statutory services - local support groups, faith groups, carers, friends and family
Examples of best practice, including those from other countries
Media reporting of suicide, the effectiveness of guidelines for the reporting of suicide, and the role of social media and suicidal content online
The value of data collection for suicide prevention, and the action necessary to improve the collection of data on suicide.
Those making submissions to the Committee are welcome to address any or all of the above points. The Committee would also welcome any other comments on or information about suicide and suicide prevention work which stakeholders may wish to bring to its attention.
Deadline for submissions
Submissions should not exceed 3000 words, and should reach the Committee (through the link below) by Friday 9 September. Oral evidence is expected to be taken in October.