Significant fall in suicides among young men

Suicide among young men has fallen to its lowest level for
almost two decades, according to a Department of Health report
published today, writes Clare Jerrom.

The rate has dropped by almost 30 per cent since 1998 and the
fall is the first sustained downward trend since the problem of
suicide among young men first escalated 25 years ago.

“This is positive news, as they are a group which has in
recent years had a disproportionately high number of people
choosing to take their own lives,” said Louis Appleby,
national director of mental health.

But he warned that there were still almost 4,500 registered
suicides in 2003 and he stressed that professionals must continue
to work hard to ensure this downward trend continues.

The report outlines progress made by the Department of Health
and the National Institute for Mental Health in England

• Young men are being targeted to seek help earlier and
access services

• Suicide prevention training pilots are being run for staff
in mental health units and prisons

• A study of self-harm has been set up to provide accurate
data in patterns of self-harm

• A five-year programme has been launched to tackle stigma on
mental health grounds

Report from


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