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Christian MP calls for change amid 'unacceptable' suicide rates

Thu 16 Mar 2017
By Aaron James

A Christian MP's calling for widespread change, amid suicide rates that have been deemed "unacceptable".

Andrew Selous spoke after the Health Select Committee of MPs, which he's a part of, found there were 4,800 recorded suicides in England in 2015 - though, the group said there were probably significantly more in reality.

The Committee said around a third of those had seen a GP before taking their own life, but they weren't referred to a mental health specialist.

Suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

It's recommending better suicide prevention training for GPs, for the different parts of the NHS to work and communicate more quickly, and for more non-medical treatments to be prescribed - for example, joining a sports or community group to improve a person's happiness.

MPs are also calling on people to look out for others who may be struggling in life and offer help where they can.

The government's pledged an extra £25 million over the next three years towards suicide prevention.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Andrew Selous: "We heard some really tragic stories of people who had gone to seek help at Accident and Emergency, the letter had been maybe sent second-class a couple of days later to their GP, by which time it was already too late - that person had already taken their own lives."

Asked what his prayer was moving forward, Selous added: "Just that the numbers would come down hugely and that people would realise there is hope.

"People take their own lives when they don't have any hope for the future and that's just such a tragic and unnecessary state of mind to be in."

Listen to Premier's Aaron James speaking to Andrew Selous MP on the News Hour:

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