JWSMF Trustee Clare Milford Haven, continues to co-Chair TASC (The Alliance of Suicide Prevention Charities). TASC is an alliance of the leading charities dealing with suicide prevention and mental health issues. TASC believes that, whilst not every suicide is preventable, many of the thousands that occur each year could have been prevented, had the appropriate help and resources been available. The stigma & taboo surrounding mental health and suicide mean that, all too often, suicide is seen as an inevitable consequence of a particular weakness inherent in the individual. We know that this isn’t the case. Frequently, our healthcare and social checks fail those clearly in need or asking for help. We believe that suicide is a serious health issue, and, more broadly, that mental health should be given the same emphasis as physical health.
TASC came together as an initiative to encourage collaboration and prevent duplication of efforts and funding in the area of suicide research and prevention. TASC was set up in November 2010 and holds quarterly meetings to discuss common goals, current research and future actions. The aims of this group are:
- To share and provide information on initiatives and carry out research focused on both reducing the number of suicides, and understanding more about the causes and triggers underlying suicidal behaviour.
- To collaborate on effective interventions to identify key weaknesses and gaps in current processes and provision (e.g. awareness, training, research, assessment and support), and collaborate on interventions, to effectively reduce the number of suicides.
- To influence policy makers and the media in the adoption of effective suicide prevention strategies, and also with the media in the delivery of responsible reporting.