Following research by Samaritans Cymru on the links between poverty and suicide, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for better mental health provision for those in poverty alongside long-term action to reduce poverty.
Samaritans Cymru’s report revealed that suicide rates for those in deprived areas are up to three times higher than in more prosperous areas. Between 300 and 350 people in Wales die by suicide each year, which is more than those who die in road accidents. This makes suicide the leading cause of death for people under 25 and for men between 20 and 49.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds commented:
“This vital research is yet more evidence of the urgent need to improve mental health provision to reduce suicides. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have a proud record of standing up for mental health, including achieving parity of esteem for mental health and increasing mental health funding. However, we know there is far more to be done before patients across Wales can access the quality mental healthcare they deserve.
“Suicide has a devastating impact on families and communities, it is a damming indictment of our society that it remains the leading cause of death for those under 25 and for men between 20 and 49. Suicide is preventable; every sector of society must work to support those at risk and create an environment where people feel able to openly discuss their feelings. Improving the support available to those in poverty must be a priority.