Suicide - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:04 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Lord Griffiths of Burry Port Labour 1:04 pm, 8th September 2020

My Lords, these are unpropitious times for ordinary people. Lockdown has increased the incidence of loneliness and we are hearing more tales about domestic abuse. With the furlough scheme ending soon, we have worries about the world of work and joblessness. There are increased referrals for mental health problems, and the National Union of Students tells us about the well-being of students, in these uncertain times, as they face a new university session. These all bring their own worries and pressures. All these factors might create a climate in which we see, tragically, the rate of suicides climbing.

Meanwhile, the Government are beset on all sides by energy-sapping programmes to do with the economy, health and education—and Brexit looms. We heard of the loss of a senior law officer just this morning. We have heard about the ambitious programmes of the Government, as outlined by the Minister. Can he assure us that keeping them running and in proper focus will be manageable, given all the other things the Government are being dragged down by, largely as a result of their own ineptitude?