The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has appointed 49 year-old Jackie Doyle-Price (pictured) as the country’s (and possibly the world’s) first Minister for suicide prevention. It’s not at all clear what Doyle-Price will do.
Doyle-Price is the Conservative MP for Thurrock, a miserable but fairly well-off corner of south-east England close to London, which has long been home to political extremists of the right and left.
In any case this seems to be mere political tokenism.
In 2017 there were about 5,800 suicides in the UK, and suicide certainly remains the biggest cause of death of men under the age of 45.
But despite all the mainstream media hullabaloo about suicide, rates in the UK have actually halved, from their peak of 21.4 suicides per 100,000, to 10.1 per 100,000 in 2017.
What might she have done, for example, to prevent the suicides of Richard Adam Hollis, 37, and Nathan Jordan Orritt, 18, who (an inquest has just learned) tied themselves together and jumped to their deaths from the Menai Suspension Bridge in north Wales?
Picture source: Chris McAndrew