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Men's Health

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has conducted in (a) the UK and (b) other EU member states, into young male suicide rates and methods of reducing the rate in the UK. [118496]

The Department of Health has conducted a number of pieces of research relating to the question.

The national programme on forensic mental health research and development was established in April 1999 and built on the work of the research and development programme set up as part of the High Security Psychiatric Services Commissioning Board (first established in September 1996). The programme supports the evidence base for the provision of services for mentally disordered offenders by commissioning research and developing research capacity.
Response from the forensic mental health (FMH) project on 'Aspects of Suicide among mentally disordered offenders' project.
The National Research Register (www.update-software.com/ nrr/) has 30 on-going projects listed on suicide and just over 200 recently completed projects.
Some European studies on suicide.
The Department has also recently commissioned a research project that will examine coroners' records for details of around 570 cases of suicide involving hanging (the most common method of suicide for men in England), firearms or self-poisoning. The study is being undertaken on a collaborative basis by researchers at the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Manchester. It will report by the end of 2003 and will provide evidence to support the implementation of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England.
In 2002 the Department of Health published a 'National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England'. This identified young men as a key high risk of suicide group and also refers to research which is being promoted by the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) into high risk groups such as young men.