Metal Health under the magnifying glass

Suicide at lowest recorded level

The number of suicides in England is at its lowest recorded level, new figures show.

The suicide rate for 2007 – the most recent year for which statistics are available – was 7.5 deaths per 100,000 population.

In 1995 the suicide rate in England was 9.2 deaths per 100,000 people. The government has set a target of reducing this rate to 7.3 deaths per 100,000 by 2011.

The National Mental Health Development Unit’s suicide prevention annual report on progress 2008 showed there is a fall in the rate of suicide among men aged under 35.

Suicides amongst mental health in-patients also dropped from 216 in 1997 to 136 in 2006 (latest data).

There has also been a fall in suicides in prisons, from 65 in 1997 to 60 in 2008. The 2008 figure is down from 88 in 2007.

A multi-agency approach is credited with bringing about the suicide rate reduction.

The National Mental Health Development Unit in April replaced the National Institute for Mental Health

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