THE Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to do more to prioritise access to mental health services in Mid Wales following the publication of alarming data on the number of
suicides in Ceredigion in Powys.
Data released by the Office for National Statistics  show that Ceredigion has the highest rate of suicide in the whole of the UK at 20.1 per 100,000 people up from 18.2 per 100,000 people in 2019.
Powys wasn’t far behind with a rate of 15.8 per 100,000 people. The average rate for England and Wales is 10.6 per 100,000 people.
The figures have promoted Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader and Mid & West Wales Senedd Member Jane Dodds to call on the Welsh Government to invest in “a truly 24-hour mental health service”.
Commenting Jane Dodds MS said:
“The figures outlined by the ONS are tragic, especially how much higher Mid Wales places compared to the rest of England and Wales.
“Every single one of these deaths is a tragedy that devastates families, friends and communities.
“Suicide is not inevitable and efforts have been made to prevent suicide, but we need to look at suicide as a serious public health issue in our region. It’s important that we do everything we can to help
anyone in Mid Wales struggling with suicidal thoughts and feels there is no other alternative.
“While the data released today shows Powys and Ceredigion performing much worse than other rural areas, we do know from other studies that those suffering from isolation in rural areas as well as those in
farming are more likely to suffer from poor mental health.
“We need to make sure that Mid Wales has the mental health services it needs to meet demand and be able to reach people outside of the larger towns.
“The Welsh Government must do more to prevent people from getting to a crisis point, mental health is treated equally to physical health.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to call for the creation of a 24/7 mental health service in Wales alongside increases in funding towards mental health services in Wales.
“We also want to see the Welsh Government do more to work with and support voluntary organisations who work with mental health such as the DPJ Foundation or the Walking Men of Mid Wales group  that has been set up in Newtown.”