Minister visits Cardiff Samaritans to highlight plan to reduce suicide and self harm
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford will today (January 5) visit the Samaritans in Cardiff to promote the Welsh Government’s new plan to reduce suicide and self harm and to congratulate the branch on its 50th anniversary.
The Minister will meet officials and volunteers at the Canton branch of the charity after one of its busiest times of the year offering a listening ear over Christmas and New Year. During the same time in 2013, the Samaritans nationally received around 244,000 calls from people.
Professor Drakeford said:
“The Samaritans provide a vital service to people and in Cardiff the branch has been providing a listening ear for 50 years. I’m pleased to meet those volunteers who are on the end of the phone providing support and help.
“Suicide is a tragedy for all concerned and is a cause of distress for many people – the individual, family, friends, professionals and the wider community. Each year in Wales between 300 and 350 people die from suicide, about three times the number killed in road accidents. There are also around 5,500 hospital admissions for self harm every year.
“Prevention of suicide and self harm is a major challenge for us all, but no single organisation or government department can tackle this issue in isolation. The Welsh Government has set out its strategic aims and objectives to prevent and reduce suicide and self harm in Wales in our new plan, Talk to Me 2.”
Samaritans executive director Sarah Stone said:
“We welcome the publication of Talk to Me 2 for consultation. The causes of suicide are complex and encouraging those who are going through a difficult time to seek help is crucial.
“The commitment of the Welsh Government to a second phase of the suicide and self harm prevention strategy and action plan will make it easier for agencies to work together effectively to reduce suicides.”
Talk to Me 2 builds on the original Talk to Me plan, which was launched in 2009 and complements the Welsh Government’s Together for Mental Health strategy and the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010. The Talk to Me 2, consultation runs until March 5.
If you need to talk to someone, contact the Community Advice and Listening Line (CALL) on Freephone 0800 132737 or text HELP and your question to 81066.
The Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 909 090.
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