England faces a “ticking timebomb” of suicides because of a lack of funding and a failure to roll out a nationwide prevention strategy – a problem that the government is “choosing to ignore”, a leading parliamentarian has warned.
On the eve of the latest suicide data for the UK, Madeleine Moon, chair of the all-party parliamentary group for suicide and self-harm prevention (APPG), said a third of local authorities in England had no suicide action plan.
Despite a government suicide prevention strategy introduced in 2012,insufficient funds and lack of a statutory responsibility on local authorities had resulted in widespread failure to take action.
Moon, Labour MP for Bridgend, told the Guardian: “We know it’s ticking. We know it’s there. We know it’s a problem, and we are choosing to ignore it, or the government is choosing to ignore it.”
Approximately 6,000 people die by suicide in the UK each year, with more than 4,500 of those in England. The rate was in steady decline until 2008, since when there has been a small increase, which some researchers attribute to the economic downturn.
“Because the figures are not huge, it’s very easy to think we can ignore that group. Even though they are fit and healthy, often young men, we are almost callously saying that because the numbers are so small, it doesn’t matter if they die. And that is so wrong,” Moon said.
An APPG survey of local authorities in England has found that about 30% do not have a suicide prevention action plan, about 40% do not have a multiagency suicide prevention group and roughly 30% do not collect local suicide data, go figure…..£30 Billion of austerity cuts to go……
For those who think that harping on about this issue is a tad melodramatic, here we go…..
‘One day in May, a man arrived to sign on at Birkenhead jobcentre in Merseyside. He was late. He had been late repeatedly and had missed several of his fortnightly appointments altogether.
The jobcentre supervisor told the man that his poor timekeeping had become an issue and put him at risk of being “sanctioned”. “You have two options,” he said. “Start turning up to the appointments on time; or continue like this and your claim will be disallowed.” According to a health and safety report relayed to the Guardian, the man replied: “I have a third option.” He reached into his pocket, took out a knife, and cut his wrists.Local police confirm reports of the incident and say the man was subsequently sectioned.’
-The Guardian (20 June 2012)
Julie Carwardine, 42, from Caerphilly in Wales, suffers from fibromyalgia, an all-over muscular ache, and has three herniated discs in her neck. She developed depression, commonly associated with her condition. But, she says, it was her battle with the benefits and tribunals system that had tipped her over the edge when she attempted suicide in January.”I can honestly say it was because of all this,” she says, pointing to a pile of benefits and appeals letters stretching back three years.
A doctor has claimed that Paul Reekie, a well respected author, was driven to suicide by the Government’s welfare reforms. Dr Stephen Carty, a Leith GP, told the welfare reform committee yesterday that letters informing Paul Reekie, his incapacity and housing benefits would be stopped were used as the suicide note of the iconoclastic poet and author. Dr Carty said: “Paul Reekie took his life following a work capability assessment”.“He didn’t leave a suicide note. He left on his desk two letters. One was a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions informing him his incapacity benefit had been stopped and the other was from the council informing him his housing benefits had stopped.”
In a scathing report, the Work and Pensions select committee note the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has investigated 49 cases where a claimant has died.
Of these 40 involved a suicide, the Work and Pensions select committee says. But the DWP was unwilling to say how many of the deaths were a result of benefit sanctions or say if it had changed its policies as a result.
The number of JSA claimants sanctioned has risen from 286,694 in 2008-09 to 568,430 in 2013-14.£30 Billion of austerity cuts still to come and £12 Billion of those to come from welfare (the government won’t say which sections of this cadaver it will be chopping at next), how crazy would we need to be to vote these people back in?
First & Foremost
If you are one of the people affected by the Welfare Reforms to such an extent that you are feeling suicidal, PLEASE contact one of the following:- Samaritans UK: 08457 90 90 90 NHS UK: 08454 24 24 24 Breathing Space UK: 0800 83 85 87 Republic of Ireland: 1850 60 90 90. Or use the SEVEN DAY RULE. Whatever you are feeling now, the old saying that suicide is permanent solution to a temporary problem holds true. So PLEASE make a contract with yourself. Do NOTHING precipitous for SEVEN days. Give yourself that BREATHING SPACE. Many, many people have found that whatever psychological anguish occurs in the darkest depths of despair, just weathering the storm and holding off for seven days is sufficient for the brain chemistry to rebalance and to come through, recovering enough not to go in such a terrible way.
– Taken From CALLUM’S LIST