Co-founders of SOS – Silence Of Silence, Michael Mansfield QC and Yvette Greenway alongside our Chief Executive, Monica Shafaq, met with Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this month at the House Of Commons to discuss the increasing need of service provision to those affected by suicide.
Michael and Yvette set up SOS after the death of Michael’s daughter by suicide in May 2015. The Prime Minister was interested to hear how SOS, a voluntary organisation which works as part of The Kaleidoscope Plus Group, has helped to support hundreds of people across the country.
During the meeting, which was also attended by the Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, Theresa May extended an invitation for them to attend No. 10 and offer their input and ideas.
Yvette said: “It is clear that the Prime Minister understands that suicide needs to be higher on the agenda and suggested ways in which we might be able to draw on our experience in terms of ideas and work to feed into the Government’s Suicide Prevention Strategy.
“We’re all delighted to have been invited to No 10.”
The Prime Minister’s Policy Unit confirmed that they are working closely with the Department for Health on the development of the next Suicide Prevention strategy at the moment, and are keen to ensure the views of families and charities are heard. Additionally, the Health Select Committee in Parliament is hearing evidence on this subject at present.
Michael said: “It’s abundantly clear at the present time that there is acute uncertainty for everyone from the age of 8 right through to 88 and that these pressures are causing mental turmoil”
Monica welcomed the opportunity to inform policy and said: “People tend to receive services at crisis point when they are more expensive and can be less effective.
“More must be done to prevent people getting to this stage and the issue of suicide should be commonly spoken about in schools”.