Today is World Mental Health Day and to mark this, Prime Minister Theresa May announced the creation a new position within her cabinet. Junior Minister for Health, Jackie Doyle-Price has been selected to be the government’s new Suicide Prevention Minister.
This is in hope of tackling the stigma surrounding suicide, as the suicide rate has been steadily increasing since the early 1990s, with nearly 4,500 people taking their own lives each year.
The government has promised more support in schools including bringing in Mental Health Support Teams and advisors to help measure student’s mental health.
The PM said: “We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence and prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives.”
Mental health services are available for free on the NHS, while there are also a number of helplines and charities that offer support.
Doyle-Price, who has been an MP since 2010, will now become the minister for Mental Health, Inequalities and Suicide Prevention.
Alongside the announcement, the prime minister pledged £1.8m to the Samaritans charity so that the free helpline can be run for the next four years.
The CEO of Mind, Kevin Gardener spoke at the Mental Health lecture today in Southampton Solent’s Spark Building, giving his vision on what impact this could have on the support offered at Solent.
The mental health charity Mind also has an online tool if you feel like you need help now, which can be reached at www.mind.org.uk
Mind also provides friends, family, and carers amongst others with tips on how to help offer support to someone with a mental health issue.
As our lives becoming increasingly busy, it’s important to take a step back and assess our outlook on life so we don’t become too overwhelmed.
By Grace Williams