Jackie Doyle-Price, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health and Inequalities, has been appointed for suicide prevention.
The announcement was made to coincident with World Mental Health Day. Around 4,500 people take their own lives each year in England and suicide remains the leading cause of death for men under 45. In her new role, Ms Doyle-Price will be responsible for efforts to cut the number of suicides, as well and overcome the stigma that surrounds mental health.
‘I understand how tragic, devastating and long-lasting the effect of suicide can be on families and communities,’ said Ms Doyle-Price. ‘In my time as health minister I have met many people who have been bereaved by suicide and their stories of pain and loss will stay with me for a long time.’
Other announcements include new mental health support teams who will work with schools to improve the mental health of young people, and the development of tools to help schools measure their students’ health, including their mental wellbeing.
‘People with serious mental illnesses, like major depression or schizophrenia, have a 40 to 60% greater chance of dying prematurely, often due to physical conditions which go untreated like cancer, heart disease and diabetes,’ said Matt Hancock, the health secretary. ‘We can’t improve physical health without improving mental health. So, I can announce today, we’re putting a further £30 million pounds into global mental health research through the UK’s National Institute of Health Research.’