The Department of Health published their third progress report of the suicide prevention strategy in England in January 2017. This report noted that addressing suicide and its prevention is a key part of Government’s ambition to tackle the inequalities caused by poor mental health.
The report addressed recommendations made by the Health Select Committee (HSC) inquiry into suicide prevention, and updated the 2012 strategy in 5 main areas:
- expanding the strategy to include self-harm prevention in its own right;
- every local area to produce a multi-agency suicide prevention plan;
- improving suicide bereavement support in order to develop support services;
- better targeting of suicide prevention and help seeking in high risk groups; and
- improve data at both the national and local levels.
These updates are intended to meet the recommendations of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health relevant to suicide prevention: to reduce the number of suicides by 10% by the year ending March 2021 and for every local area to have a multi-agency suicide prevention plan in place by the end of 2017.