Suicide: Mental Health Services

Department of Health written question – answered at on 19 December 2017.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps the Government is taking to provide support and guidance to patients who have attempted suicide who do not have a network of friends or family after they have been discharged from a mental health unit.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

We expect mental health providers to work with commissioners and local authorities to ensure there are robust plans in place to support a patient following discharge from hospital as part of the patient’s care plan. Where a patient has been detained under sections 3, 37, 45A, 47 or 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983, the Act requires clinical commissioning groups and local authorities, in co-operation with other agencies, to provide or arrange for the provision of after-care to patients discharged from hospital. The Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice sets out these requirements.

Mental health providers are also required to ensure timely follow-up with mental health patients who have been discharged from hospital within seven days.

We are ensuring that every local area has a multi-agency suicide prevention plan in place to ensure all local services including the National Health Service and local authorities, and voluntary and charitable organisations, are working together to implement tailored approaches to reducing suicides in their communities. This includes action to target and reach out to high risk groups such as people who have been in contact with mental health services.

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