Communication Concerns Highlighted in Suicide Research

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), October 23, 2008 | Go to article overview

Communication Concerns Highlighted in Suicide Research


ONLY 14% of young people who committed suicide between 1997 and 2003 were in contact with mental health services in the year before their deaths, according to research published today.

The study found that while 26% of adults received help from mental health services in the 12 months leading up to their suicide, the figure was almost halved among 10 to 19-year-olds.

The report also stated suicide rates among young people in the UK fell by 28% during the seven-year period.

Suicides among males aged 15 to 19 years of age still outnumbered adolescent females, however, by a ratio of three to one.

Dr Kirsten Windfuhr, from the University of Manchester's Centre for Suicide Prevention, said that while suicide rates fell significantly over the period, the lack of communication with mental health services was "concerning".

She said: "There is a very low rate of contact among young people in the year prior to suicide, particularly among young men, with 12%.

"It's about identifying barriers that they have to accessing the services and having a collaboration between multiple services - education services, social services and health services - to make sure young people that are vulnerable can have the care that they need.

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