Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 24th July 2018.

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Photo of Fabian Hamilton Fabian Hamilton Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce the incidence of suicide over the next five years.

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

Suicide prevention is a priority for this Government which is why we updated the National Suicide Prevention Strategy last year to strengthen its key areas for action. The Department continues to work with departments across Government, arm’s length bodies, the National Health Service, local authorities and other stakeholders, including the voluntary and charitable sector, to implement the Strategy’s key areas for action. The Department publishes regular progress reports on the implementation of the Strategy.

The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health set out clear recommendations on suicide prevention and reduction, and made a commitment to reduce suicides by 10% nationally by 2020/21. Most local authorities now have a multi-agency suicide prevention plan in place to support this ambition, and this work is being supported by £25 million investment in suicide prevention.

On 16 May 2018, the Department, Public Health England and NHS England announced the first local areas that will receive funding from the £25 million, to further develop the suicide prevention plans, which will have reached the whole of the country by 2020/21.

The former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (the Rt. hon. Jeremy Hunt) announced a zero suicide ambition for the NHS, starting with mental health inpatients, in January. Every NHS mental health provider is required to put in place a zero suicide policy during 2018/19.

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