Gary for Lincoln Lib Dems

A blog following my political ramblings, for Lincoln and beyond

  • Lib Dem candidate for Glebe Ward. Involved in Mental Health Activism, Computing, Environmentalism and Gaming

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    Suicide as Big a Killer as Cancer

    Posted by Gazbook on April 16, 2010

    The way out or Suicidal ideation

    Image via Wikipedia

    Having already known that suicide has been the biggest killer in men under 35 in the last 3 years, it came to my attention today that suicide is the biggest killer in young people in the world; second to road traffic accidents. Also in Lincolnshire, suicide is the biggest killer after cancer.

    All these topics were discussed prior to and during an NHS meeting on self-harm today. Although there is a misunderstanding that people who self-harm are attempting suicide, as many use  self-injury as a coping mechanism and a lifeline. This can be for a variety of factors, such as a release of endorphins (one of the body’s pain relief chemicals).

    At the same time, those who self harm are at an increased risk of committing suicide; ranging from one suicide for every 200 cases of harm in people up to 35, to the alarming figure of one suicide for every person over 75 who attends A&E because of self-harm.

    It is amazing then, despite these statistics, that mental health and suicide is still seen as such a taboo in the UK.

    Although (as far as I’m aware) NHS services don’t come under the remit of the county council, social services do. And while everything seems happy-go-lucky with the new NHS Walk-In centre on Monks Road, they do not accept visits for mental health problems. A person was even turned down treatment for presenting at the Walk-In centre with serious cuts to their arms that needed medical attention; even though the centre can actually treat physical symptoms of self-injury.

    One of my most important aims, both outside government in a campaigning/activist role and inside government as a council candidate, will be to reverse this trend of reductions in day services. It has taken years for a day service review to finally be carried out.

    I will also make sure that buildings being under-used that are owned by the council (such as the “NHS Work Skills” building on Mint Lane) are opened up for community use. There is so little to support the average person, especially those feeling suicidal. And even groups that have nothing to do with mental health problems, like games groups and art groups, have massive therapeutic benefits- for the entire community.

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