Funding for suicide prevention is "too little too late" and leading to unnecessary deaths, according to the a new report by the House of Commons Health Select Committee.
The Suicide Prevention Report has described the current rate of suicide as "unacceptable" and called for an overhaul in strategy to protect vulnerable people.
The report found two in five people who present at A&E departments for self-harm do not receive a psychosocial assessment, and MPs also criticised the fact many people who are discharged from inpatient care do not receive a folllow up within three days.
A shortfall in funding and implemention in policy have been blamed, and uncertainty was raised over the quality of plans among local authorities.
In England, 4,820 people were recorded as having died by suicide in 2015 but the real figure is likely to be higher. Suicide remains the biggest killer of men aged 49 and under and the leading cause of death in people aged 15 to 24.
Responding to the findings in the report, Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, says:
“It is extraordinary that fundamental ways of preventing suicides are still being ignored in some areas, with desperate people turned away from A&E and patients discharged from hospital without any follow-up. This is despite it being well-known amongst professionals that it is in the first few days after leaving care that patients are at the highest risk of suicide.
“We believe as many as one in three suicides could be prevented if such obvious steps were taken. It is simply not good enough for the government to pledge improved mental health services and reduced suicides, while on the front line patients are being discharged on a wing and a prayer, some of whom becoming so desperate and exhausted they take their own lives.”
To read the Suicide Prevention Report in full, click here.