There has been a sustained drop in the number of young men committing suicide, according to a report published today by the Department of Health and National Institute for Mental Health.
The study found that this is the first sustained downward trend of suicide among young men for 25 years and highlights progress being made by three mental health promotion pilots in Camden, Manchester and Bedfordshire aimed specifically at this group.
Health minister Rosie Winterton welcomed the drop and said: “This shows that our suicide prevention strategy is having a real impact on the vulnerable people who moist need help.”
The national suicide rate is at its lowest ever level since records began, according to the report. It says the most recent suicide rate for the three years 2002, 2003 and 2004 was 8.56 deaths per 100,000 population – a reduction of 6.6 per cent from the 1995, 1996, 1997 base line.
The target is to reduce suicide rates to 7.3 deaths per 100,000 population by the 2009, 2010 and 2011 baseline.
The report found there has also been a reduction in the number of suicides among prisoners and mental health in-patients.
National director for mental health Professor Louis Appleby said: “The fall in in-patient suicides is particularly encouraging news.
“In-patient safety has been a real focus for the NHS, including the introduction of specific measures such as better risk management, appropriate care and treatment for people who self-harm and removal of ligature points from which hangings could occur,” he added.
Priorities for next year include:-
• developing and publishing guidance on actions to be taken at hotspots for suicide
*encourage mental health services to provide early follow up to high risk patients who are discharged from hospital
• Promoting the successful intervention measures arising out of the evaluation of the mental health promotion pilots aimed at young men
• Implementing the NICE guidelines on depression and self harm
Report from www.nimhe.org.uk
Conferences on the topic of suicide coming up:- New Approaches to Preventing Suicide