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Theresa May appoints the world’s first minister for suicide prevention

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Theresa May has appointed Jackie Doyle-Price to be the world’s first ever Minister for Suicide Prevention at yesterday’s global mental health summit in London.

The former health minister’s new role will focus on reducing the number of those taking their own lives around the country, as well as helping fight the stigma that surrounds suicide.

Official portrait of  Jackie Doyle-Price by Chris McAndrew 

In addition to this, it's been said that every local area will have an active suicide prevention plan, and latest technology will be looked at to see whether those at risk can be identified.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock expressed his delight about Jackie Doyle-Price’s appointment, he believes “she will make a real difference.”

The government has also announced it plans to offer more mental health support for children and young people and pledged £1.8 million of government funding to keep the Samaritans free helpline running for four more years.

Mrs May said: "We can end the stigma that has forced too many to suffer in silence and prevent the tragedy of suicide taking too many lives."

The announcement was made at the first ever global metal health summit, which was hosted by the Health Secretary in London, coinciding with World Mental Health Day.

Ministers and officials from more than fifty countries attended, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Although figures show that suicide rates are on the decline there are still around 4,500 people taking their own lives each year in the UK and suicide remains the top cause of death among males under the age of 45.

This new minister is expected to tackle these issues and help create real change when it comes to suicide prevention. 

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