The Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, discussed his family experience with mental health and suicide in a recent speech.
Mr Javid met with bereaved families, to encourage more people to seek help with their mental illness. He addressed his family’s own experience of suicide and bereavement, and set out his ambition for suicide prevention, improved services for bereaved families and better use of technology to understand the cause of suicide.
In 2021, there were over 5,000 suicides registered in England. Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under the age of 50 and around three quarters of deaths from suicides each year are men.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists joins the call for people from all walks of life, especially men, to respond to the consultation with ideas to develop a comprehensive plan for mental health.
Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:
“It was incredibly moving to hear the Secretary of State talk openly about his family's experience with suicide and the importance of being able to talk about mental health with family and friends, as well as with trained professionals. I hope the Secretary’s openness will help others and particularly men who are struggling, to access the support they need.
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to improve the situation around suicide prevention, including support for bereaved families and improving services and digital technologies. We are looking forward to working with the Secretary of State to help develop the Cross-Government Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan and Suicide Prevention Strategy.
“I strongly urge everyone, who is able, to respond to the consultation to help shape the future of mental healthcare."
To respond to the consultation, please visit the Department of Health and Social Care's Call for Evidence: Mental health and wellbeing plan by 7 July 2022.