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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Suicide prevention for middle-aged men 'must be made a priority'

Written by The Press Association

The prevention of suicide in middle-aged men should be made a priority, a study has urged, warning that deaths in mental health patients have become "substantially more common".

Factors including alcohol misuse, isolation, unemployment and debt add to the risk of suicide in male patients and need to be addressed, the report from the University of Manchester said.

Almost 2,000 mental health patients died by suicide in 2013, the study into suicides and homicides by people with mental illness said.

Patient suicides accounted for 30% of all suicides in 2013, an increase of 3% from 10 years earlier.

The number of male patient suicides in the UK has risen by 29%, the report said.

It recorded that patient suicides had become more common since 2009, attributing the rise to an increase in England where the overall number of mental health patients has risen.

The report stated: "Suicide in men is sometimes blamed on a reluctance to ask for help but the figures we are reporting are for men who are receiving mental health care."

The unavailability of local in-patient treatment is a factor, researchers said, calling for a review of acute care and an end to admissions out of the patient's local area.

The report added that families and carers are "a vital but under-used resource in mental health care" and suggested there would be safety benefits if the mental health care providers worked more closely with them.

It said low patient homicides figures since 2008 have been maintained, but added that the numbers may rise as convictions are confirmed by trusts and health boards.

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