New funding will target initiatives to prevent and reduce suicide in Wales

The Welsh Government will target new mental health investment in initiatives to prevent and reduce suicide rates in Wales, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced.

Mental health is one of the Welsh Government’s top priorities with £655m being invested in 2018-19, more than on any other part of the Welsh NHS.

Each year in Wales around 300 to 350 lives are lost through suicide. The Talk to Me 2 Strategy has led to an increased focus on multiagency working to prevent suicide, with plans established in all areas of Wales.

In delivering the Welsh Government’s response to the National Assembly for Wales’ Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s inquiry into suicide, the Minister announced that an additional £500,000 a year will be invested to specifically support national and regional approaches to tackle suicide and self-harm prevention.

These include:

  • Recruiting National and Regional leads across Wales;
  • Implementation of the support after suicide post-vention pathway to support those bereaved by suicide, as well as a full review of support and targeted investment to improve this;
  • Improved awareness and availability of resources including Help is at Hand and a new suicide prevention website developed by the national advisory group;
  • Guidance on suicide prevention training for staff across public services;
  • Funding to support programs and initiatives that have been shown to be effective.

Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “Improving mental health and well-being and preventing suicide continue to be a priority for the Welsh Government.

“We can’t always predict who will be affected by suicide. However, suicide can be prevented if we reduce the risk factors that make it more likely. That’s why we will target the additional investment we are making towards actions that can help prevent and reduce suicidal behaviours, as well as providing appropriate support to communities to address this complex issue.

“As a society, we all need to work together to prevent suicide. Friends, families, organisations, and communities all have a part to play.”