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Suicide Prevention

Receiving evidence

The extent of the problem of suicide in Wales was consistently raised in evidence to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s inquiry on loneliness and isolation earlier this year.

Between 300 and 350 people in Wales die from suicide each year; it is a major cause of death amongst people aged 15-44.  About three quarters of people who commit suicide are men, in Wales and across the UK. The most recent statistics on suicide (published 7 September 2017) show an improvement in Wales of the age-standardised suicide rate for males and females from 13.0 in 2015 to 11.8 per 100,000 people in 2016.  The Welsh Government’s suicide and self-harm prevention strategy Talk to me 2 - Suicide and self-harm prevention strategy for Wales 2015-2020 was launched in July 2015.  It followed Talk to Me. The National Action Plan to Reduce Suicide and Self Harm in Wales 2009-2014. Talk to me 2 identifies suicide as a ‘major public health challenge’. 

Mental health services have an important role to play in suicide prevention.  The Welsh Government’s priorities for mental health services in Wales are set out in the Together for Mental Health strategy and the Together for Mental Health Delivery Plan 2016-19 and mental health service provision is underpinned by the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010 which has a preventative ethos.

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee’s inquiry will focus on suicide prevention for people aged 15 and over in Wales.

Terms of reference

To examine the extent of the problem of suicide in Wales and what can be done to address it.

To include:

  • The extent of the problem of suicide in Wales and evidence for its causes - including numbers of people dying by suicide, trends and patterns in the incidence of suicide; vulnerability of particular groups; risk factors influencing suicidal behaviour.
  • The social and economic impact of suicide.
  • The effectiveness of the Welsh Government’s approach to suicide prevention - including the suicide prevention strategy Talk to me 2 and its impact at the local, regional and national levels; the effectiveness of multi-agency approaches to suicide prevention; public awareness campaigns; reducing access to the means of suicide.
  • The contribution of the range of public services to suicide prevention, and mental health services in particular.
  • The contribution of local communities and civil society to suicide prevention.
  • Other relevant Welsh Government strategies and initiatives - for example Together for Mental Health, data collection, policies relating to community resilience and safety.
  • Innovative approaches to suicide prevention.


Help and support


If you’re struggling to cope, need to talk to someone or feeling suicidal, you can contact Samaritans.


Freephone 24 hours a day from any phone on 116 123.

Welsh Language Line: 0808 164 0123 (7pm-11pm, 7 days a week)


Website: Samaritans Cymru


Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

Status: For consideration

First published: 11/10/2017




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