Suicide rates fall

The national suicide rate has continued to fall and is now at its lowest ever level.

The three-year average is now 8.5 deaths per 100,000, down from a baseline of 9.4 deaths per 100,000 in 1995.

These figures coincide with the publication of a guide giving advice on how to prevent suicides at local ‘hotspots’, such as railway bridges or cliffs.

The guide, produced by the DoH, recommends building physical barriers at well known ‘jump points’ to deter people and installing telephone helplines to urge people to contact support groups such as the Samaritans.

Organising dedicated ‘suicide patrols’ of volunteer or paid counsellors to patrol the area will also help to lower the number of suicides, says the DoH.

Health Minister Rosie Winterton said: ‘Every death from suicide is preventable, a loss for society and a needless tragedy for the friends and family of the victim. We all have a role to play in tackling this. The latest figures on suicide show that the national rate continues to fall and is at its lowest level since records began. However, despite this news, we must work hard to ensure that this downward trend continues.

‘We know that there are actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of suicide.

‘I urge everyone to play their part in combating suicide - by working together we can save lives.’

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