Suicide: Young People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 23rd February 2018.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of suicides of people under 25 years of age.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We updated the Cross-Government National Suicide Prevention Strategy in 2017 to strengthen delivery of its key areas for action which includes reducing suicide in high risk groups such as middle-aged and young men and tailoring approaches to reduce suicide in groups with specific mental health needs such as children and young people.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (2016) required all local areas to have in place multi-agency suicide prevention plans to ensure local services, who may come into contact with people at risk of suicide, work together to implement tailored actions to reduce suicide in their communities. Almost every local area has a plan in place and we will be working with local areas to quality assure their plans. We are investing £25 million between 2018-20 to support suicide prevention within National Health Service Sustainability and Transformation Plan areas.

The Government is taking wider action to improve the mental health of children and young people, which includes £1.4 billion of investment up to 2020. We are investing £400 million to improve mental health crisis care in the community and £247 million to deliver mental health liaison services in every acute hospital by 2020.

We published a joint health and education Children and Young People’s Mental Health Green Paper in December 2017 available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper

This sets out ambitious proposals to improve mental health services which include:

- creating a new mental health workforce of community-based mental health support teams;

- ensuring every school and college will be encouraged to appoint a designated lead for mental health; and

- piloting a four-week waiting time standard for NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

We are also rolling out Mental Health First Aid training to every secondary school and will begin rolling training out to all primary schools from this year to equip teachers with the skills and confidence to provide support to children and young people who may be experiencing mental health problems.

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