27 November 2021 07:36 AM

Govt must address 'underlying causes of poor mental health', say charity

27 November 2021

Yesterday the government announced new funding to help suicide prevention services to meet increased demand from the pandemic.

A £4 million suicide prevention grant fund will support Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector suicide prevention services,

The grant will focus on supporting high risk groups, including children and young people and those with pre-existing mental health conditions,

People experiencing suicidal thoughts or approaching a crisis will also be supported by a £5 million boost to suicide prevention charities, following increased demand during the pandemic.

In light of the news, Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of mental health charity Mind said:

“It is so important anyone experiencing suicidal feelings has somewhere to turn to if they need it. So we welcome extra short-term support to help prevent people reaching crisis point. However, we also need to see additional investment which helps prevent the issues which can cause or worsen mental health problems and lead to suicidal feelings – things like insecure housing and employment, racism, and racial trauma, being pushed into debt and poverty because of devastating cuts to universal credit or other benefits, loneliness and isolation, and difficulties accessing mental health services. All of these are having a huge impact on our mental health, which have been further exacerbated by the pandemic.

“We need to see the UK Government’s concerted efforts to help address the underlying causes of poor mental health, with significant investment across all departments and desperately reforming our benefits system, which can be a lifeline for people too unwell to work. To really help reduce suicides, the UK Government must make sure local authorities are properly funded so they can deliver things like debt advice, youth services and better housing which would help prevent people from reaching crisis point.”

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