Our response to today's announcement of a new ministerial position overseeing suicide prevention

09 October 2023

A minister for suicide prevention has been appointed in England by the prime minister as the government hosts the global mental health summit, to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

Theresa May said the appointment Jackie Doyle-Price to the new role, along with her current role of junior health minister overseeing mental health, will help tackle the stigma surrounding suicide.

Up to £1.8 million has also been promised to help the charity Samaritans tackle suicide.

Brian Dow, deputy CEO at Rethink Mental Illness and co-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance said:

“Today’s ministerial announcement and funding boost is a positive sign that the issue of suicide is being taken seriously by the government. The numbers of people taking their own lives are still worryingly high overall, and behind each number is a real person. The reasons for suicide are complex and as a country we could be doing a lot more to prevent people from reaching crisis point like this. While it’s true that it’s partly about needing to open up, talk and reach out for help, far too often we at Rethink Mental Illness are hearing from people who can’t access the care and support they desperately need when they do seek it. We need to see funding prioritised for timely and high quality support close to home that is put in place as soon as someone first asks for help.”

For more information and interviews contact the Rethink Mental Illness media team on 0207 840 3138 or media@rethink.org