Employment and Support Allowance: Suicide

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to NHS Digital's Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014, what assessment she has made of the factors contributing to attempted suicide rates of employment and support allowance claimants relative to the non-claimant population.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 08 February 2019

Suicide is a tragic and complex issue which we take extremely seriously. Suicidal thoughts and behaviours cause considerable distress to those it affects, and it is therefore important that we interpret any data about these issues accurately. The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014, commissioned by NHS digital, makes no causal link between the claiming of benefit and the likelihood of suicide.

We recognise that many people claiming benefits, including Employment and Support Allowance, are particularly vulnerable and we continue to explore ways to improve the claimant journey, especially for those who have mental health conditions. We take mental health extremely seriously and have safeguards in place to ensure people are supported throughout the claiming process.

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