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Suicide Prevention Minister Appointed During Global Mental Health Summit


A minister for suicide prevention has been appointed by the prime minister, following the first ever global mental health summit.

Theresa May says that the appointment of Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price will help tackle the stigma surrounding suicide.

Mrs Doyle-Price, who has been an MP since 2010, will now become the minister for mental health, inequalities and suicide prevention.

The appointment came as ministers and officials from more than 50 countries assembled in London for the summit on Wednesday.

The event was hosted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock and saw a number of well-known campaigners attend, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who recently worked on some popular campaigns with mental health charities.

In addition to appointing a suicide prevention minister, the government has also pledged £1.8m to the Samaritans so that the charity can continue providing its free helpline for the next four years.

There are also promises of help for pupils through the introduction of new mental health support teams within schools. These teams will aim to help students assess their health and wellbeing.

Ms May said: “We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence and prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives.”

Tory ministers are yet to give the new suicide prevention minister a firm budget or targets, despite unveiling her appointment on World Mental Health Day.

In 2017, 5,281 people died of suicide in the UK. This equates to 10.1 deaths per 100,000 people. The suicide rate amongst men is three times that amongst women, with 15.5 deaths per 100,000 compared to 4.9 deaths per 100,000.