The number of people taking their own lives in England is unacceptably high, says a report by the Health Select Committee. The group of MPs is putting pressure on the government ahead of its new plan for preventing suicides, which is expected in the New Year, reports the BBC.
The number of deaths by suicide was 4,820 in England in 2015 – part of a UK-wide figure of 6,188 and the committee said support needed to be more accessible to those at risk.
The MPs’ report also said GPs needed more training in spotting people at risk of suicide and that there should be more support after patients are discharged from psychiatric services. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the committee’s chair, said that 4,820 people are recorded as having died by suicide in England last year, but the true figure is likely to be higher.
The group of MPs also attacked ‘irresponsible’ reporting of suicide by the media that leads to copycat behaviour by those at risk of taking their own lives. The government’s revised suicide prevention strategy is due to be published in January.
According to the NHS, it is impossible to say someone will never get a mental health condition but there are steps that can be taken to improve mental health.
“If you’re stronger emotionally, you may find it easier to cope with stressful or upsetting incidents, reducing your risk of developing a mental health condition, like depression, and the risk of suicidal thoughts,” says the NHS.
The service adds that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) only recommends trying treatments based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – a type of psychological treatment that can help someone understand their condition better and how problems, thoughts, feelings and behaviour affect each other.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy says CBT is used by many of its 1,800 registered therapist across the UK by that clinical hypnotherapy goes further by dealing with the subconscious not just the conscious mind.
“We live in a society where great demands and responsibilities are placed on us,” says the NCH, adding that at least one in seven people in the UK suffer from stress or anxiety at any one time in the UK.
“And while some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well being.”
The national body says a hypnotherapist can help assess a person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship.
The therapist will then help set a goal asking how the person would like to feel and what they would choose to do in life if free from anxiety. The therapist will then work with that person to reach their goals using a range of different techniques.
“Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal. After sessions with a hypnotherapist, you may feel more confident, more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily,” says the NCH.
Hypnotherapists work in a private, one-on-one situation, allowing the person to relax and talk in full confidence.
Ruth Sutherland, the chief executive of the Samaritans, told the BBC that suicide prevention is still not being prioritised and ‘every six seconds someone contacts Samaritans for help’.
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Marjorie Wallace from the mental health charity SANE told the BBC that ‘believe at least one in three suicides could and should be prevented and it is unforgiveable that we allow people to be sent to a lonely and preventable death’.
She added: “There are fewer and fewer safe places for patients to go, and the one-on-one relationships they crave have been taken away by the fragmentation and cuts to services.”