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Have your say to help prevent suicide

Published: Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:29 PM    |     Modified: Sunday, November 5, 2017 4:02 PM


As part of World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September, Tower Hamlets Council is encouraging feedback on its suicide prevention strategy.


After reviewing national guidelines and local evidence, a multi-agency steering group of experts from across the borough have worked to identify local concerns and possible solutions to help address it.


Suicide is the leading cause of death in adults aged 20-34 in the UK. There has been a worrying increase in suicide across England since 2008, rising 16 per cent between 2007 and 2014.


The rate in Tower Hamlets is higher than the London average and higher than in neighbouring boroughs Hackney and Newham. More men than women die from suicide, and in Tower Hamlets the rate in men is four times that in women.


Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said: “Although suicide rates have continued to increase, we believe suicide can be prevented. We are committed to working together with communities, the voluntary sector, schools, the NHS, faith communities and stakeholders so that we can learn lessons and implement findings to reduce the risk of suicide and provide support to people in crisis.”


The main risk factors for suicide include:

    • Being male
    • Drug or alcohol abuse
    • Chronic mental or physical illness
    • History of self-harm
    • Being a mental health inpatient
    • Having access to the means of suicide

Preventative measures have been shown to work; the suicide rate in England fell between 1981 and 2007 because of prevention campaigns across the country.


The multi-agency steering group has identified five key priority areas for action in the strategy:

      • Early intervention and prevention
      • Improving help for those in crisis
      • Identifying the needs of vulnerable people
      • Addressing training needs
      • Communications and awareness


The strategy and background document with more detail, and short consultation can be found at www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/suicidepreventionstrategy, or access the consultation directly here. Please share your views.


Consultation will close at midnight on 22 October 2017.

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