British MPs are urging the government to step up and do more to reduce the number of ‘unacceptable’ suicide rates within the UK.
Whilst this can only be seen a positive step, can a smaller number of suicides, or even just one suicide per year, ever really be regarded as ‘acceptable’? Surely, any attempt at taking one’s life or going through with it, is unacceptable?
Before even more people contemplate suicide, we need to shift of the onus of ‘unacceptability’ from those who take their own life and put it where it belongs: on the unacceptable waiting times and slack follow-up appointments that many sufferers of mental health issues are forced to endure on the NHS.
Yes, I agree with the MPs that the websites and social media platforms that tell people how to kill themselves should be restricted. But there wouldn’t be so many people finding themselves in such a desperate situation that they sought solace from these sites, if they received timely and consistent psychological help in the first place.
If the government are going to achieve their aim of reducing the suicide rate by 2020 then the only way forward is to put adequate funding and infrastructure in place within the NHS. Far too many sufferers of mental illness fall off the radar so it is imperative that waiting times are reduced to ensure that everyone who needs the service gets timely intervention.
Those of you that have read Pullingthetrigger OCD, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Related Depression will know that I, myself have contemplated suicide. I understand the sheer level of despair and anguish that fellow sufferers go through before deciding to end the pain by taking their own life. But suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. With a better procedure in place to prevent suicide, and to help sufferers before they even consider taking their own life, we will start to see a meaningful reduction in the high number of suicides in the UK.
For a free guide on suicide prevention from The Shaw Mind Foundation, please click here.