20 Oct 2016

It’s ‘Unlikely’ Mike Buchanan Will Be Asked To Give Oral Evidence To The Health Committee Inquiry On Suicide Prevention. Please Help Us To Change That

Suicide has for many years been the leading cause of death of males between the ages of 15 and 49. The male:female suicide differential has more than doubled over the past 30 years, now standing at 3.5:1.
J4MB: It’s a topic we return to frequently, and covered in our 2015 general election manifesto (pp. 46-8).
The Health Committee of the House of Commons – it has a female chair, and most of the members are women – recently announced an inquiry on suicide prevention, and I submitted this. It explored 11 areas where the state’s actions and inactions are assaulting men’s and boys’ human rights – e.g. denying men access to their children after family breakdowns – and driving the relentlessly high male suicide rate.
There are a considerable number of individuals and organisations who’ve provided written submissions to the inquiry – link below – and focusing on mental health considerations. The committee will predictably favour these individuals and organizations over those (such as ourselves) which point out the state itself is the key driver of male suicide.
I’ve had to ask two or three times whether I’ll be invited to give oral evidence to the committee, and I’ve just received the following email:

Dear Mr Buchanan,
The written submissions are here. You may publish a link to the above page on your blog, and you can publish your own evidence on your blog.
The names of oral witnesses are published on our website each week, on the Thursday before they are due to give evidence. If you are to be invited to give oral evidence, my colleagues who are working on the inquiry will be in touch. Please note that we received a large amount of written evidence and it is unlikely that you will be invited to give oral evidence. [my emphasis]
Thank you for your interest in the Committee’s work.
Best regards,

Senior Committee Assistant
I wouldn’t normally make such a request, but I think it’s important we have another shot at giving oral evidence. I’ve written a polite but firm email, and would ask you to do likewise. The committee’s email address is healthcom@parliament.uk. Thank you for your support of our efforts to have the truth told about male suicide for the first time in parliament.


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