The NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network responds to the University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH) report, published today (Wednesday 22 July 2015).
Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, said:
“We welcome the publication of this important report. Suicide is a subject many people still find hard to talk about and we must continue to work hard to ensure more people feel able to talk about mental health openly.
“The report paints a complex picture. We know that the numbers of people coming into contact with mental health services in recent years has been rising. It is positive news that more people are receiving the help and treatment they need. Suicide in inpatient settings is now a rare event. The report found that amongst inpatients, there was a 61 per cent fall in suicides from 2003 to 2012. In part, this reflects a concerted effort on the part of people running services to improve safety on wards across the country.
“For those people treated in the community, numbers of suicides for some groups – particularly men – have risen. In part, as the report says, this reflects the greater numbers of people in treatment, though clearly more must be done to focus on preventative activity. We must also remember that over two-thirds of people who take their own life have not been recently in contact with mental health services at all. We must ensure that more people, whether they are in contact with mental health services or not, are able to access the right help and support when they need it.”