WALES: Suicide Is Commonest Death for Young Men in N.Wales; Shock Figures for Taking Own Life 'Among Worst in UK'

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Byline: By CARL BUTLER

SHOCKING figures reveal suicide is the highest cause of death among young men in Wales.

Two North Wales counties have the worst suicide rates in Wales, and suicide rates across Wales are five times higher than in England.

Denbighshire has Wales's highest suicide rate for men, while Conwy has the highest suicide rate for women.

Mental health charity Mind Cymru unveiled the figures as it started its two day annual conference in Cardiff.

An average of 76 people a year are committing suicide in North Wales according to figures recorded between 1996 and 2004.

In Conwy the death rate averages 15 a year and in Denbighshire, 13. As a percentage of the population that makes them "significantly high" according to the charity.

Reasons for the figures are less clear. And it is not possible to say how many of the deaths were people from outside Wales who came here to die.

Mind says twice as many people die of suicide as die in road accidents.

Mind Cymru is trying to reduce the suicide figures with the ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) programme, which has been running as a pilot project in Wales for just over a year.

Three local Mind associations in Aberystwyth, Torfaen and Vale of Cl-wyd, serving all of Wales between them, are trying out the programme, with support from the Welsh Assembly Government.

The training attracts participants from community mental health teams, crisis resolution teams, social services, youth offending teams, fire and ambulance services, police, A&E, nurses, midwives, and coastguards. …