Suicide prevention inquiry consultation launched

A new inquiry will look at issues surrounding suicide in Wales and what is being done to address it.

The National Assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee will be examining the reasons why between 300 and 350 people take their lives in Wales each year.

Suicide is a major cause of death for people aged 15-44, and about three quarters of people who commit suicide are men.

The Committee will also look at the Welsh Government’s suicide and self-harm prevention strategy – ‘Talk to me 2’, which is designed to reduce numbers through promoting and supporting programmes and services across the country.

In evidence to the Committee’s inquiry on loneliness and isolation earlier this year Samaritans Cymru praised the content of ‘Talk to me 2’, but raised concerns about its local implementation which is said to be ‘patchy’.

“More than 300 people a year in Wales reach a point where they feel the only way out of a situation is to take their own lives,” said Dai Lloyd AM, Chair of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

“We want to know what is being done to help people who feel this way and whether we should be doing more.

“We will be looking at the extent of the problem and its causes, the social and economic impact of suicides and the effectiveness of the Welsh Government’s approach to suicide prevention.

“This is a deeply emotive subject for many people. Anyone affected by issues surrounding suicide and who is thinking of contributing should know their submission will be treated sensitively.

“I would urge anyone contemplating harming themselves or taking their own life to seek help, either through their GP or counselling services such as the Samaritans.”

Anyone wishing to contribute to the inquiry should visit the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s web page, or write to Clerk to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff, CF99 1NA.

The consultation closes on Friday 8 December 2017.

Matt Pearce