During the past year I have read with sadness and concern, numerous reports of people taking their own lives.
There is evidence that the recent national reduction in suicides has been reversed and the numbers are highly likely to continue rising. One person dies every two hours in England and Wales from suicide and the highest at risk group are young and middle aged men.
Of note, more young men die as a result of suicides than road traffic accidents.
The evidence points to the recession biting, with unemployment and debt, which can lead to loss of esteem, absence of structure and social connections, all of which may exacerbate conflict in relationships and fear about the future. The problems are compounded with new policies of welfare reform, student loans etc.
This is a critical public health and social problem, which devastates the family and friends who experience the loss of a loved one.
In September 2012, the Department of Health published a new suicide prevention strategy, which urges the targeting of higher risk groups and for local communities to generate action to prevent deaths and promote individual and community resilience.
However, there is no implementation plan. Whilst this is a desperately gloomy state of affairs, suicide should never be regarded as inevitable.
There is hope, ideas and initiatives, which can help to save lives. What is needed is for those responsible for funding and development of services both statutory and voluntary, to vigorously respond and put in place the necessary strategies and actions to make a significant difference.
Malcolm Rae OBE
Gutter politics at meeting
I am writing in response to your article in the Wigan Evening Post of December 7, “Nazi Jibe Complaint.” I attended the council meeting on November 7 and sat in the public gallery.
Wiganers expect their elected representatives to behave in a manner that is fitting to the role they have in our society and not participate in gutter politics.
At the meeting on November 7, 2012, I evidenced councillors trading insults at each other, Nazi jibes and councillor walk-outs.
Many councillors at the full meeting of Wigan Council on November 7, 2012, I believe, did not represent this Lancashire Borough of Wigan, in the manner it deserves, hence my complaint.
Deputy Leader, Community Action Party,
Don’t forget to vote for Wiggo
THE BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year takes place this Sunday and I urge all fellow Wiganers to cast their vote for Bradley Wiggins.
Having head the pleasure of meeting the cyclist in Wigan I really hope he lands the top prize at the weekend.
To win the Tour de France and then Olympic gold in the space of a matter of days in such a punishing pursuit really is sporting excellence.
Name and address supllied