Celebrity death reignites calls for improved mental health services

In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, 11% more than in 2017.

Ian Snug
17 February 2020
Sad Depressed

A quarter of people will be affected by a mental health problem in their lifetime.

The tragic death of former Love Island presenter Caroline Flack has reignited widespread calls by the public for a drastically improved mental health service provision across the UK.

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Despite statistics showing that a quarter of people will be affected by a mental health problem in their lifetime, over the past 10 years, mental health services have been consistently cut.

In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, 11% more than in 2017.

During the 2019 general election, the Government made several key commitments on mental health; treating mental health with the same urgency as physical health, improved dignity and respect for mental health patients, and increased funding.

Matt Hancock, the Secretay of State for Health and Social Care, commenting following her death tweeted; “So sad to see the news of Caroline Flack’s suicide. Shows we must do so much more as a society to look out for each other – whether online or off.”

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A serious public health issue.

Since her death, social media has been filled with calls to improve the mental health service provision.

One mental health nurse told NursingNotes“Mental health services have been cut to a point where an increase in preventable deaths is inevitable.”

“We need the Government to follow up on their pre-election promises and provide services with both the staff and money they need.”

Last year the Samaritans declared a rise in the number of deaths by suicide as an “urgent public health issue” and called upon to reform services.

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In a statement they said; “We know that suicide is not inevitable, it is preventable and encouraging steps have been made to prevent suicide, but we need to look at suicide as a serious public health issue.”

Adding; “we still don’t have a comprehensive, cross-departmental government workplan that prioritises clear actions on how to reach the two-thirds of people who die by suicide who are not in touch with mental health services.”

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