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