By Lea Pachta

The number of suicides in England are at an all-time low, Care Services Minister Phil Hope announced today as he published the latest annual report on suicide prevention.
The new figures out today show:

The suicide rate for 2007, the most recent available, was the lowest recorded at 7.5 deaths per 100,000 population.
There continues to be a sustained fall in the rate of suicide among young men under the age of 35.

There has also been a further reduction in suicides amongst mental health in-patients, from 216 in 1997 to 136 in 2006 (latest data).

There has been a fall in suicides in prisons, from 65 in 1997 to 60 in 2008. The 2008 figure is down from 88 in 2007, although trend has fluctuated.
Care Services Minister Phil Hope said:

“The fact that suicide rates continue to fall is encouraging. We will continue to work with the NHS, local authorities and other agencies to try to prevent suicides as far as possible.

“Investment in good mental health services, including early intervention when people have mental health problems is very important. Our new strategy for mental health, called New Horizons, which will be published shortly, will focus on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.”

Professor Louis Appleby, clinical director for mental health at the Department for Health said:

“It is excellent that the suicide rate is at a new low, but front-line agencies need to re-double their efforts if we are going to bring it down further at a time of recession.”

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