Petition Calls For A 24/7 Mental Health Emergency HelplineMen
The UK is in the middle of a mental health crisis. In the UK in 2020, 6248 people took their own lives: 5224 in England and Wales, 805 in Scotland and 219 in Northern Ireland, reports the mental health charity the Mental Health Foundation.
These statistics are about human beings driven to suicide in a country where the NHS has neglected the mental health of patients for too long, whilst the Governments cuts in real terms has meant that mental health support is now in mainly private company's and charity organisatyions hands; with long waiting lists and patchy cover across this nation.
A Government funded 24/7 emergency mental health number, operated and staffed by professional mental health practitioners, will save lives say the family of Cal Stuart who took his life on 7th January 2021 at the age of 23.
In a Change.org petition set up by his father Alan Stuart, he and his family give the USA as an example of a system of support which provides a single nationally accessible Emergency number for those suffering mental health crisis and suicidal intentions. Alan Stuart writes in his petition:
'There are currently many mental health helplines run by different organisations, running in different areas at different times. This means knowing who to turn to when facing a mental health emergency is often confusing, overwhelming and off-putting. With the confusion surrounding who to call, people with suicidal intention and those in mental health crisis are calling 999, which is taking up a lot of police time.
The USA has a mental health emergency helpline 988 for suicide prevention and mental health crises - it’s time we had the same in the UK too.
It will come too late for our son, but there are so many more like him that need this support in their time of need.
Please sign our family’s petition to urgently establish a mental health emergency helpline in the UK.'
Whilst proponants of such a service see it as urgently necessary in order to help save lives, the reality is that without proper resourcing and ebnsuring such a services is not, as the Government did with the Citizen's Advice Buereau over Trading Standards reporting; simply handed over to such charities as The Samaritans to cover with little funding and eating into their already finite resources trying to cope with what many see as a 'suicide pandemic'.
The petition can be read and signed by clicking on the photo above.
Source: Change.org / unionsafety