Publication / Research / Resource

National suicide study calls for better support for children and young people

This new report, commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Originally published by University of Manchester: 13 July 2017.

Researchers examined the findings from a range of investigations into the deaths by suicide of people aged under 25 between January 2014 and December 2015 in England and Wales.

Researchers wanted to find the common themes in the lives of young people who die by suicide, to identify possible sources of stress and examine the role of support services.

In a news release Professor Louis Appleby – Director of NCISH, said:

“Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in young people in England and Wales aged between 10 and 34. Although there is no single cause, bereavement was an important theme in many of the deaths we examined. Some of the young people had experienced the suicide of someone close to them – it’s tragic that the trauma of suicide may lead young people to take their own lives.”

The findings highlight groups where specific actions are needed:

support for young people who are bereaved, especially by suicide; greater priority for mental health in colleges and universities; housing and mental health care for looked after children; and mental health support for LGBT young people.

View Professor Louis Appleby presenting the key findings and recommendations:

Key messages

Copied from source at page 3:

  • Suicide in young people is rarely caused by one thing; it usually follows a combination of previous vulnerability and recent events.
  • The stresses we have identified before suicide are common in young people; most come through them without serious harm.
  • Important themes for suicide prevention are support for or management of family factors (e.g. mental illness, physical illness, or substance misuse), childhood abuse, bullying, physical health, social isolation, mental ill-health and alcohol or drug misuse.
  • Specific actions are needed on groups we have highlighted: (1) support for young people who are bereaved, especially by suicide (2) greater priority for mental health in colleges and universities (3) housing and mental health care for looked after children (4) mental health support for LGBT young people.
  • Further efforts are needed to remove information on suicide methods from the internet; and to encourage online safety, especially for under 20s.
  • Suicide prevention in children and young people is a role shared by front-line agencies; they need to improve access, collaboration and risk management skills. A later, more flexible transition to adult services would be more consistent with our finding of antecedents across the age range.
  • Services which respond to self-harm are key to suicide prevention in children and young people, and should work with services for alcohol and drug misuse, factors that are linked to subsequent suicide.

Read the full report at source: Suicide by children and young people. National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH). Manchester: University of Manchester, 2017.

Infographics sheet with key messages: Suicide by children and young people July 2017

Mental capacity, advance decisions, and suicidal behaviour – a clinician perspective

Prof Nav Kapur discusses the need for clearer guidelines about advanced decisions and suicidal behaviour. For further details and to take part in this study please follow the link

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