'Harmful internent content' could be encouraging people to take their own lives

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Tory MP and committee chairwoman Sarah Wollaston said: "Four thousand eight hundred and twenty people are recorded as having died by suicide in England previous year, but the true figure is likely to be higher".

They called for the NHS to "embrace innovative approaches", such as online services; said that Global Positioning System also needed more training in spotting people at risk of suicide; and that there should be more support after patients are discharged from psychiatric services.

The government's revised suicide prevention strategy is due to be published in January. The government has also not carried out any monitoring of the strategy's implementation.

Suicides in the United Kingdom can only be reduced with more effective government action, an interim report from the Health Select Committee has concluded.

"The committee will scrutinise the updated strategy and then hold a follow-up hearing before publishing a full report".

The report notes that suicide is a health equality issue as people in the lowest socio-economic groups living in the most deprived areas are ten times more at risk of suicide that those in the most affluent group in the least deprived areas.

The House of Commons Health Committee states in its preliminary report released today that suicide prevention strategies introduced by the Government in 2012 have been only partially implemented. For people not in contact with services, they suggested there should be greater emphasis on public mental health and wellbeing to reduce stigma.

Ian Hulatt, the RCN's professional lead for mental health nursing, said: "Nurses and other health staff have considerable expertise in working to prevent suicide, though identifying those at risk and making the right intervention can be very challenging, especially with the enormous pressures on a small workforce".

The news comes amid growing concerns over suicides linked to the internet.

"Developing mental health services is essential but money hasn't come as quickly as promised and this is holding-up progress", he said.

"For too long we have seen year-on-year increases in prison suicide and there are worrying trends around childrens' mental health too, with insufficient investment to improve their care", he added.

The report also noted the importance of swift responses to suspected suicides and that the media must abide by guidelines relating to suicide to ensure it does not provoke copycat behaviour.