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Internet: Suicide

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what progress has been made in implementing the suicide prevention strategy; and what assessment he has made of whether the target for the reduction in the number of suicides will be met. (189061)

I have been asked to reply.

The target is to reduce the death rate from suicide and injury of undetermined intent by at least a fifth by 2010. This target is measured in three-year pooled rates. Between 1995 and 1997 there were 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population and between 2004 and 2006 the rate had fallen to 8.3 deaths per 100,000 population—a fall of 10 per cent. from the baseline.

The rate of decline had slowed, but there are now signs that the rate of decline may once again be increasing. An increased rate of decline must be sustained if the target is to be met. We are continuing to take action at local, regional and national levels to help reduce the number of suicides in our communities.