New five year plan to reduce suicide and self harm in Wales

A new five-year plan to reduce suicide and self harm inWales has been unveiled for consultation by the Welsh Government.

Each year in Wales between 300 and 350 people die fromsuicide – about three times the number killed in road accidents. There areapproximately 5,500 hospital admissions for self harm every year.

Talk to Me 2, which builds on the first Talk to Me plan,launched in 2009, sets out the strategic aims and objectivesto prevent and reduce suicide and self harm in Wales between 2014 and 2019. Italso builds on and complements Together for Mental Health and the MentalHealth (Wales) Measure 2010.

It identifies those groups of people who are particularlyvulnerable to suicide and self harm and sets out the care they should receive,provided in the right place, at the right time.

Talk to Me 2 will be subject to a 12-weekconsultation, which closes on March 5, 2015.

The suicide and self harm prevention activities, which willbe a national priority in Wales over the next five years include:

  • Reducing access to the means of suicide;
  • Delivering appropriate responses to personal crises, early intervention and management of suicide and self harm;
  • Further improving awareness, knowledge and understanding of suicide and self harm among the public; people who frequently come into contact with those at risk of suicide and self harm and professionals in Wales;
  • Providing information and support for people bereaved or affected by suicide and self harm;
  • Supporting the media in responsible reporting and portrayal of suicide and suicidal behaviour;
  • Continuing to promote and support learning, information and monitoring systems and research to improve understanding of suicide and self harm in Wales and guide action.

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“Suicide is usually in response to a complex series offactors, which are both personal and related to wider social and communityinfluences. It is a tragedy for all concerned and is a cause of distress formany people – the individual, family, friends, professionals and the widercommunity.

“It is estimated that for every person who dies throughsuicide at least six others are significantly and directly affected. Manyothers may be indirectly affected. Losing someone through suicide can beparticularly traumatic and difficult to cope with; its impacts arepsychological, spiritual and economic.

“Our five-year strategy aims to promote, co-ordinate andsupport plans and programmes to reduce suicide and prevent self harm atnational, regional and local levels.

“Prevention of suicide and self harm is a major challengefor us all, but no single organisation or government department can tackle thisissue in isolation. The successful implementation of Together for MentalHealth, the Measureand Talk to Me 2 will make a significantcontribution to the prevention of suicide and self harm in Wales.”

The Talk to Me 2 consultation can be found here: