Charity calls for better crisis care in response to new suicide statistics

The national charity Rethink Mental Illness has called for health and emergency services to commit to improved crisis care for people with mental illness, as new figures show suicide rates are still worryingly high.

The figures, released today (18 February) by the Office of National Statistics, show that nearly 6,000 people took their own lives in 2012.

The Government has also today published new recommendations for improving crisis care, but there is no obligation for local authorities to implement them.

Jane Hughes, Director of Communications and Campaigns at Rethink Mental Illness, said: “We’re pleased to see that there hasn’t been an increase in the number of suicides since last year. But one suicide is too many, and it is worrying that there has been a general increase over the past five years.

“Too many people aren’t getting the support they need when they’re feeling suicidal. That’s because crisis care is patchy, and in many places doesn’t exist at all. Cuts to services also mean that people are missing out on crucial early invention support to stop them reaching crisis point in the first place.

“If ever there was a moment to commit to the new guidelines in crisis care, its today. We need health services, local government and the police to come together and take real action, so that we can start to reduce the number of needless lost lives.”

ENDS

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Jane Hughes, please contact Brian Semple, Senior Media Officer, on 0207 840 3043, or brian.semple@rethink.org. Jane is available for interview between 11am-1pm on 18th February.

Notes to editors

Rethink Mental Illness is a charity that believes a better life is possible for millions of people affected by mental illness. For 40 years we have brought people together to support each other. We run services and support groups that change people’s lives and challenge attitudes about mental illness. We directly support almost 60,000 people every year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone. We give information and advice to 500,000 more and we change policy for millions. For more information go to www.rethink.org

Brian Semple
Senior Media Officer – Policy
020 7840 3043
Follow me on twitter @SempleSemple