Far be it from me –

The Politics of Suicide

on January 8, 2017

The last few weeks have seen public policy on suicide prevention climb the political agenda. Ian Marsh and Anne Cooke consider whether anything new is on offer. On Monday Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, will make a speech promising to improve mental health services and to reduce the suicide rate.  The speech is, in part, a response to recommendations from NHS England’s mental health taskforce, and to the House of Commons Health Committee’s  interim report on suicide prevention published just before Christmas.  Whilst we welcome a renewed focus on suicide, we worry that (if you will excuse a macabre pun) the Government are flogging a dead horse. The central thrust of the proposals seems to be that we need to keep on doing what we’ve been doing (unsuccessfully) for decades, only more of it. The main assumption underlying the Prime Minister’s speech and the Health Committee report seems to be that people who kill themselves are mentally ill.  It’s an idea that’s dominated our thinking

Source: The Politics of Suicide


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