Inquiry to identify causes of young suicide


A national investigation into suicide by children and young people is hoping to identify causes and recommend prevention strategies.

Figures show that 700 under-25s take their own lives in the UK every year. This includes up to 160 young people under the age of 20 and 60 to 70 aged under-18.

The data, from the University of Manchester, which is also carrying out the investigation, shows that there are higher rates of suicide in young people in Scotland and Northern Ireland than in England and Wales.

The investigation, which is unique internationally, will look at what factors abuse and bullying have on young people as well as how easy it is for them to access support services.

It will also focus on the role of social media and internet sites in suicide, as well as suicides which appear to occur in clusters or follow a copycat pattern.

Professor Louis Appleby from the Centre for Suicide Prevention at the University of Manchester, who is leading the investigation, said: “Suicide is one of the main causes of death in young people. Despite this there is no current system nationally for reporting suicide trends or recommending priorities for prevention in this specific age group. The investigation hopes to fill this gap.

“Suicides among young people are a major public concern, particularly when they appear to occur in clusters or to follow a copycat pattern. This public concern over child suicide often focuses on the role of internet sites or social media, but there is relatively little information on the part these factors play.”



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