Winterton launches new drive to reduce suicide among young men

More than 1,300 young men took their own lives last year, according to the Department of Health today.

Launching a new drive to reduce suicide rates among young men, health minister Rosie Winterton said that although there had been a downward trend in the last five years of young men taking their own lives, work was needed to ensure this trend continued.

“We already have a national suicide strategy that is starting to have an impact but we need to redouble our efforts in getting young men to look after their mental wellbeing and seek help when they need it,” Winterton said.

The minister published results of three pilots which have been looking into the best ways to reduce suicide among young men.

The pilots found:-

• Community-based locations, such as youth centres, offered a more successful means of engaging with young men than formal settings such as GP surgeries

• Alternative terms to ‘mental health’ such as ‘dealing with stress’ or ‘wellbeing’ should be adopted to ensure mental health issues are discussed in a non-stigmatising way

• Accessible information and advice needs to be available for family members and friends of young men.

The results of the pilots, which were in Camden in north London, Bedfordshire and Manchester and set up in 2004, will be used to spread best practice and learning across the NHS.

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