New strategy can cut suicide rates says the deputy prime minister

The deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has spoken out against the high rate of suicides in the UK and is calling on hospitals and the NHS to aim to end all such deaths, saying they are preventable.

Over 4700 people killed themselves in England in 2013, figures show, a rise on the year before of 6 percent. However because of the introduction of a scheme, in the city of Detroit, USA, Guide rates dropped by 75 percent in four years.

Mr Clegg said that “Suicide is preventable, it is not inevitable… We have to break this hidden assumption that nothing can be done to stop people killing themselves.

“Suicide is one of the biggest killers of men under the age of 50 and if this was a physical health problem, there would be a national outcry.”

In 2001, the Henry Ford Medical Group in Detroit embarked on a wide-ranging programme to improve the training of staff, increase contact time with patients and spread education regarding suicide and mental health problems.

By 2008, the suicide rate of the patient population of this group dropped to zero.

The Merseycare NHS Trust in Liverpool is now developing a programme inspired by the one in Detroit.

Suicide can occur because of many reasons. Foremost among them are mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and stress. Despite the fact these are treatable, the lack of psychiatric beds across the country, as well as the stigma surrounding mental health issues hinders the treatment of a lot of people.

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