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Mentally Ill: Suicide

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) suicides and (b) attempted suicides there have been of individuals in the care of each mental health trust in each year from 2000 to 2008. (287118)

The Department does not collect these figures centrally. However, the national confidential inquiry into suicide and homicide (NCISH) by people with mental illness collects certain figures around this issue and the following table shows numbers of people by calendar year who were in contact with mental health (MH) services in England in the year prior to their death. This includes those who were under the care of services as out-patients and the table also includes the number and percentage of those in contact with services who were in-patients at the time of their death.

It should be noted that the inquiry sample includes both suicide and open verdicts at coroners' inquest. Open verdicts are often thought to be suicides and are conventionally used in suicide rate estimation in the United Kingdom. Neither the Department nor the NCISH collect information on attempted suicides.

We are unable to release information relating to specific mental health trusts without the permission of those trusts.

Suicides in contact with mental health services in the year prior to death (England only)

Suicides in contact with MH services N=8,565

In-patients N=1,153 (%)

2000

1,248

196

2001

1,260

179

2002

1,249

165

2003

1,249

183

2004

1,307

158

2005

1,253

151

2006

999

121