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Suicide levels at 'record low'

1st August 2008

New statistics have shown that the number of suicides in England are falling and are now at a "record low".

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According to the National Institute for Mental Health in England report, the number of young men committing suicide has seen a particular decrease.

The figures showed there was a 7.5% reduction in the number of young men aged 20-34 who committed suicide between 2003-05 and 2004-06.

In 2004-06, the three year average was 8.3 suicides per 100,000 population, a decrease from the average of 8.5 in the preceding three years.

Suicides among inpatients dropped to 145 suicides in 2005 from 157 in 2004. 1,308 suicides were committed in 2004 by people in communication with mental health services, compared with 1,277 in 2005.

Prison suicides did not follow the trend, rising to 82 in 2007/08 from 71 in 2006/07.

The suicide prevention strategy for England was set out in September 2002 with the aim of supporting a government plan to cut the number of suicides "by at least 20%" by 2010.

This would equate to a fall in the number of suicides from 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 1995-97 to 7.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2009-11.

Ivan Lewis, the Care Services Minister, said the decline in the number of suicides was "encouraging".

However he added: "We must do more to tackle the rise in prison suicides and promote sensitive media reporting of suicides."

He said the government were striving to ensure the media reported suicides in a "more sensitive and thoughtful way" in the future.



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