By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Yesterday Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister in the UK, announced at a mental health conference, the government's intention to reduce suicide to zero by working in cooperation with every part of the National Health Service and other agencies.
According to The Telegraph news, Clegg is modeling this suicide prevention program on the successful program that was implemented in Detroit Michigan. The article stated:
... every suicide is preventable if NHS trusts provide better care for people suffering from depression and other serious illnesses.
The “zero suicides” target can be met through simple measures, such as keeping in touch with patients who have been discharged from mental health wards and creating a plan so that patients and their friends know whom to contact if they are placing themselves in danger.
Police and transport agencies will be called on to examine whether safety measures can be put in place in “hot zones” where high numbers of suicides occur, such as shopping centres or bridges.
The plans have been inspired by a mental health programme in Detroit, US, where a “zero suicide” commitment resulted in no-one in the care of state depression services taking their lives in two years.
The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and similar organizations encourages the UK government to implement a goal of ending suicide. We recognize that suicide is 100% preventable.