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Serious talk and action is needed to reduce suicide rates

Suicide is a hidden public health problem with huge consequences, and we need population wide measures to save lives, says the Faculty of Public Health’s President, Professor John Ashton.

Professor Ashton said: “Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Across the world, a person takes their own life every 40 seconds. Suicide is a huge public health issue with devastating consequences for families and wider society. Today is a good opportunity for everyone in the public health community to consider what we can do to help reduce suicide rates.

“Suicide cannot only be addressed through mental health services: we need to look at the full range of complex reasons that cause it. That includes biological as well as social factors: there is evidence that austerity measures have increased suicide rates.

“We welcome the recent efforts of Network Rail to introduce new ways of reducing suicides at train stations. The more serious talk we have about suicide, the easier it will be to bring this hidden and misunderstood issue into the public domain and address it.

"That’s why we address suicide in our new web resource for public health professionals, Better Mental Health for All”.

  • The Samaritans' 24-hour helpline is 08457 909090.

Written: 10/09/2013 , last modified: 24/12/2013