The UK Government has been urged to provide more direct support to help save countless lives, as a new report from the charity Samaritan’s warns inequality and deprivation is leaving vulnerable people at a higher risk of suicide.
In its new report, Dying from Inequality, the national charity says the government and businesses needs to become more aware of the myriad of triggers that could push people into taking their own lives.
The report, which incorporates research and recommendations from leading experts, highlights many areas where people are at a greater risk of suicide, including the closure and downsizing of businesses, those in manual, low-skilled employment, those facing unmanageable debt and those with poor housing conditions.
Samaritans’ CEO Ruth Sutherland said, “Suicide is an inequality issue that we have known about for some time, this report says that’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s got to change. Most importantly this report sets out, for the first time, what needs to happen to save lives.
“Addressing inequality would remove the barriers to help and support where they are needed most and reduce the need for that support in the first place. Government, public services, employers, service providers, communities, family and friends all have a role in making sure help is relevant and accessible when it matters most.
“Everyone can feel overwhelmed at times in their life. People at risk of suicide may have employers, or they may seek help at job centres, or go to their GP. They may come into contact with national and local government agencies, perhaps on a daily basis.
“So, in the light of this report we are asking key people and organisations from across society, for example those working in housing, in businesses, medical staff, job centre managers, to all take action to make sure their service, their organisation, their community is doing all it can to promote mental health and prevent the tragedy of suicide.”
Samaritans is calling on the UK Government to train more front-line staff in England on suicide prevention, such as public sector workers in Jobcentres. The charity is also campaigning for local authorities to have effective suicide prevention plans in place.
Ruth Sutherland added: “Each suicide statistic is a person. The employee on a zero hour’s contract is somebody’s parent or child. A person at risk of losing their home may be a sibling or a friend. And each one of them will leave others devastated, and potentially more disadvantaged too, if they take their own life.
“This is a call for us as individuals to care more and for organisations that can make a difference, to do so.”
Need to talk? Samaritans can be contacted free on 116 123 (UK & ROI) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can visit their website at http://www.samaritans.org.