Suicide: County Durham

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd May 2018.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to allocate additional funding from the NHS England suicide prevention and reduction scheme to (a) Easington Constituency and (b) County Durham.

Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the reasons for the higher than average rate of suicide in (a) Easington Constituency and (b) County Durham.

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

The Government set an ambition to reduce suicides by 10% by 2020/21 through the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. As part of this ambition we are investing £25 million over the next three years to support the development and implementation of local suicide prevention plans as well as a national quality improvement programme on suicide prevention.

NHS England consulted with a wide range of stakeholders and published details of how this funding will be invested in local areas on 17 May available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/05/suicide-prevention-and-reduction/

The Durham, Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) area will be one of the first STP areas to receive funding of £405,108 which includes the Easington Constituency and County Durham area.

In 2018/19, local communities that are worst affected by suicide are being given this additional funding to implement suicide prevention and reduction schemes which will reach the whole country by 2021.

There will be multiple factors that impact the suicide risk in a particular geographical area these will vary between areas and their populations. Local authorities and other local services are best placed to assess the suicide risk in their area and to implement tailored approaches to reducing the risk of suicide in their communities, which is why every local area is developing a multi-agency suicide prevention plan. The Department and Public Health England will be working with local authorities and other stakeholders to quality assure these plans.

Public Health England published a suite of guidance to local authorities on developing local suicide prevention plans last year, which provides advice on undertaking a local suicide audit so that local areas can get a better understanding of the risks of suicide in their communities and take appropriate action. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/suicide-prevention-resources-and-guidance

This guidance was also supported by a series of masterclasses across the country for local authorities which were attended by over 500 people.

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