Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today call for all NHS trusts to commit to a new ambition for zero suicides in the health service. Mr Clegg is later today hosting a mental health conference with Liberal Democrat Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb. The event brings together leading doctors, policy makers and campaign groups to discuss the future of mental health services in England.
The ‘zero suicide’ ambition is about changing how people who are in NHS care are treated so that they are not forgotten when they move or leave the health service they have been in. Research shows that this approach can dramatically reduce the number of suicides in the mental health services. Suicides can be prevented but often people feel embarrassed about talking about their mental health problems.
The Liberal Democrats say they are leading the campaign to stamp out the mental health stigma so that people can feel free to talk about their problems without feeling embarrassed or judged.
Making the announcement Nick Clegg is expected to say: "Suicide is, and always has been, a massive taboo in our society. People are genuinely scared to talk about it, never mind intervene when they believe a loved one is at risk. That’s why I’m issuing a call to every part of the NHS to commit to a new ambition for zero suicides. We already know that this kind of approach can work in dramatically reducing suicides."
"This isn’t about blame. It is doing more in every area of our society to ensure that people don’t get to that point where they believe taking their own life is their only option." Mr Clegg is expected to add.