Re: Suicides associated with the 2008-10 economic recession in England: time trend analysis
26 August 2012
Barr et al’s report on the association between suicide and the economic recession is an exemplar in how research can rapidly influence, and be translated into, locality based public health practice. The Cumbria Suicide Prevention Strategy has been informed, among others, by the existing body of evidence linking suicide to socio-economic deprivation. This report is providing added impetus to local action to reduce suicides, for example, by helping us engage with local employment and benefits agencies and encouraging them to take up training in suicide prevention jointly commissioned by Cumbria County Council and the NHS. It also validates the support that our local Suicide Prevention Reference Group is giving to the roll out the Samaritans’ ‘Men on the Ropes’ campaign, which targets 'older younger working class men'.
More generally, it provides additional evidence in support of local efforts to mitigate the impacts of the government’s austerity policies. These include support for local employers to improve the health of their workforce, and initiatives to maximise the incomes of people who are unemployed, by providing them with advice about benefits, debt and rights.
While localities can feel disempowered in the face of austerity policies that are detrimental to health, these concerted local efforts can help keep people healthy, and perhaps enable faster economic recovery when the recession eventually ends.
Competing interests: None declared
NHS Cumbria, tenterfield, brigsteer road, kendal, la9 5ea
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