The national suicide rate in the UK has fallen to its lowest levels since such records began, according to the third annual report of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy. The report also shows a drop in the number of young people who are committing suicides as well as a decline in the number of suicides among prisoners and mental health in-patients.
"Suicide is a major cause of preventable death in England and elsewhere. At a personal level, suicide is a terrible and needless tragedy, and each death is a loss to society," Health minister Rosie Winterton said. "The sustained decline in the suicide rate for young men is welcome. This shows that our suicide prevention strategy is having a real impact on the vulnerable people who most need help." The report shows that there were 8.56 deaths per 100,000 population in the 3 years between 2002-04, down by at least 6.6 percent from the baseline records. The aim now is to reduce the suicide rate to to 7.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2009/10/11. The report recommended that the phased withdrawal of the commonly prescribed painkiller co-proxamol had gone a long way in reducing the suicide rate. National director for mental health Professor Louis Appleby said, "Changes in the suicide rate reflect the mental health of the community and every action we take to improve mental health services will help reduce these numbers further."