The Government must put more resources into preventing suicide and helping people most at risk, according to life-saving charity Samaritans.
In its manifesto, launched on Monday, April 13, the charity states its belief that in order to make meaningful progress towards reducing suicide, a series of measures need to be implemented as a priority, including ensuring mental and physical health are treated as equally important.
Samaritans is committed to making its telephone service free to everyone but we need the new government to join us in that commitment.Joe Ferns
The charity also believes alcohol misuse must be tackled, while every area should have a local suicide prevention plan. The Samaritans’ helpline should also be free to callers.
The manifesto is asking the new Government that comes into power after the election on May 7 to implement measures to reduce suicides in the UK and Ireland, which currently stand at more than 6,000 a year.
Executive director of Policy and Research, Joe Ferns, said, “Certain groups are more vulnerable to suicide and more resources need to be concentrated on trying to help them – male suicides are at their highest since 2001. Research shows that social deprivation also plays a major part in suicide risk, and alcohol misuse, poverty, and unemployment are also factors.
“Suicide prevention plans, which make the most of resources, encourage the sharing of information and target support where it is most needed, should be rolled out across all communities. This is especially an issue in England where around 30 per cent of local authorities do not have them at the moment.
“We need to remove any barrier to people being able to get the help they need, when and where they need it. Samaritans is committed to making its telephone service free to everyone but we need the new government to join us in that commitment.”
To sign the Samaritans’ petition to help make the helpline free to callers, go to www.change.org/p/future-uk-government-help-samar itans-provide-their-tele phone-service-for-free.
To speak to Samaritans, phone 08457 90 90 90.