I followed up my recent Suicide: Breaking the Silence event in Parliament with a debate in Westminster Hall today.
Recent statistics show a record number of suicides last year. The Government has clearly failed to meet its target of reducing deaths by suicide by 10%. We need to see a much more focused approach in the revised Suicide Prevention Plan when it’s published.
I raised a number of concerns in my speech, including problems with CAMHS, long waiting lists, the severe shortage of psychiatric beds and people not being able to get help until they reach crisis point. I also spoke about particular risk factors, like gambling, alcoholism, adverse childhood experiences, adult trauma and financial hardship, as well as talking about the need to strengthen the Online Safety Bill in relation to suicide and self-harm sites. And I flagged up measures that could be implemented quickly to save lives – from informing parents of university students when they’re in crisis, to restricting access to the means people use to attempt suicide.
You can read the debate in full here.