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Letter to the Minister for Patient Safety Suicide Prevention and Mental Health on Inclusion of Ethnicity in Suicide Data

Prof Cornelius Katona

In October 2020, we wrote to Nadine Dorries MP, the Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health alongside to draw her attention to a pressing issue regarding the way data is collected around suicide in the UK. 

The letter is written in collaboration with Freedom From Torture, signed by Juliet Cohen, Head of Doctors as well as Professor Dinesh Bughra, Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London. 

An excerpt from the letter: 

We believe that it is crucial to have accurate data as the rates of black, Asian and ethnic minorities are anecdotally higher but we need information. Asylum seekers, a vulnerable group with higher rates of mental illness and other risk factors for suicide, also cannot be identified from national data on suicides. 

We also published an editorial in the British Medical Journal calling for ethnicity and asylum seeker or refugee status to be recorded in suicide data. 

Click on the download link below to read the full letter.