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LGA responds to Health Committee report on suicide prevention

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, responds to the Health Committee's report on suicide prevention.

"Every suicide tells a different but equally tragic story. The fact there have been more than 6,000 suicides in the past year shows the need for suicide to be recognised as a major national public health concern.

"Suicide prevention is a high priority for councils, which already provide a range of vital services that support the health and mental wellbeing of our communities.

"But we need a root and branch overhaul of mental health services, which focuses on prevention and early intervention, particularly for children and young people.

"It is also crucial that we have the right investment in mental health and suicide prevention services. Councils support the £1 billion being invested in the NHS by 2020 to address mental health, but there needs to be a similar commitment to invest in local government to help tackle mental illness and prevent suicide.

"While the overwhelming majority of councils now have a suicide prevention plan in place, even though there is no requirement for them to do so, we can only really tackle the issue alongside other public and private organisations, such as schools, railway operators, supermarkets, hospitals and police stations.

"Suicide is preventable, but it needs to be everybody's business to work together to tackle this tragic loss of life."

Government's suicide prevention strategy needs greater focus on implementation

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