Government Response to Suicide in Mental Health Services

1. Critically examine government response to suicide in mental health services or inpatient services, and how other actors and the wider context in health and social care influence it.

The government has implemented suicide prevention strategies that have strong national leadership, accountability and transparent. Effective governance and implementation has ensured that no ore lives are lost through suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group (NSPSAG) HAS worked together with the department of health and other partners such as the National Health Service (NHS) England to review the current programs in place. This has improved the quality of the multi-agency suicide prevention plans (WHO, 2014). Global Mental Health Action Plan, 2016–2020 Recommendations by the world health organization together with United Nations have laid out programs that have targeted promotion of mental health by implementing everything from scratch.

Identification of these individuals at risk within the local community by the local government has ensured emphasis is on the mental patients and their overall well being (Platt, Arensman & Rezaeian,2019). Identifying a mental patient at an early stage (2013-2018), is effective in ensuring that get access to primary care services. Screening is the first step in systematic identification of mental patients at risk of committing suicide. Screening of high risk populations has created demand for trained gatekeepers and designed programs that reduce suicidal behaviours.

Since 2009,training programs have been put in place to support the NHS workforce by enhancing awareness training materials to improve the existing knowledge and skills on mental health care. The government has provided training institutions that have provided resources for identification and management of self-harm in mental health patients (Platt, Arensman & Rezaeian, 2019). These updated training modules have been designed for nurses and are free; a good example of this training facility known as the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust that offers face to face training to these medical practitioners.

Additionally, health education England has a commissioned a toolkit which has been available since 2017 for primary care nurses and general practitioners for guidance of mental health awareness to their staff (Da Rosa et al, 2019). An up-to-date resource was commissioned on mental health care and training which was accredited by the royal college of general practitioners and the royal college of nursing. The government has promoted the implementation of NICE guidelines that recommend people to have access to services that meet the best standards. The suicide prevention guidelines issued in 2018have been promoted through cross- government suicide prevention strategy. Currently NICE is developing new guidelines that will enhance suicide prevention in local vicinities.

Funding from government and non governmental agencies has ensured that there is a follow up to patients that have been discharged from hospital within the last seven days. This has developed an evidence based treatment pathway for patients with acute mental issues. The multi stakeholder expert reference group has guided this approach to enhance effectiveness. Media campaigns are traditional universal approaches to behaviour- related problems. Through campaigns, the government has been able to provide a wide scale education on suicide prevention as part of the overall mental health promotion (.Platt, Arensman & Rezaeian,2019) Countries have implemented the extensive media campaigns on suicide prevention among the mental health patients. These media initiatives have been more focused on modifying how suicide has been portrayed in the society we live in.


Da Rosa, G. S., Andrades, G. S., Caye, A., Hidalgo, M. P., de Oliveira, M. A. B., & Pilz, L. K. (2019). Thirteen Reasons Why: The impact of suicide portrayal on adolescents’ mental health. Journal of psychiatric research, 108, 2-6.

Platt, S., Arensman, E., & Rezaeian, M. (2019). National suicide prevention strategies–progress and challenges.

World Health Organization (2014). Prevent suicide. A global imperative Geneva, Switzerland

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