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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 March 2007, 17:26 GMT
Male suicide figures on increase
Depressed man
Over a 15-year period 74% of suicides were men
The number of men committing suicide in Scotland has risen by almost a quarter over 15 years, it has been revealed.

A Scottish Executive study found the number of men taking their own lives increased by 22% between 1989 and 2004. For women the rise was 6%.

Researchers found Glasgow's suicide rate was significantly above the Scottish average.

Rates were much higher than average in West Dunbartonshire, Highland, Western Isles, Dundee and Argyll and Bute.

We will also be undertaking more action targeted at men and those living in remote and rural communities
Lewis Macdonald
Deputy Health Minister

But in West Lothian, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, Fife, Falkirk, East Renfrewshire, East Lothian, East Dunbartonshire, Angus and Aberdeenshire the rates were significantly lower than average.

During the 15-year period there were a total of 13,185 suicides, of which 74% were men and 26% were women.

The executive introduced the Choose Life strategy in 2002 in a bid to reduce the number of suicides, and has set a target of cutting this by 20% by 2013.

But while the figures showed that the number of suicides fell for both men and women in 2003 - the year after the initiative was set up - they rose again in 2004.

The figures for 2004 showed the suicide rate for men was 30.3 per 100,000 people and 10.2 per 100,000 for females.

The research also found that in areas where there was higher levels of deprivation there were higher suicide rates and that the lower classes were at more risk of suicide.

'Heightened risk'

The report recommended giving greater priority to the effects of class and deprivation in suicide prevention strategies.

Among men, suicide rates tended to fall with age, with males aged between 25 and 34 most likely to take their own life.

Among women the highest rates were for those aged 45 to 54, but there were also large numbers in the 25 to 44 age bracket.

Poor estate
Areas with higher deprivation had higher suicide rates

There were also differences in the methods men and women used to kill themselves, with hanging, self-poisoning, drowning and gassing most common for men.

Self-poisoning was the method used most often by females.

Deputy Health Minister Lewis Macdonald said: "We will continue to raise awareness of this problem, specifically focusing more action on groups at heightened risk of suicide such as those with mental ill-health, people living in deprived areas, prisoners and those with drug and alcohol addictions.

"Choose Life will also be undertaking more action targeted at men and those living in remote and rural communities, as we know there can be higher rates of suicides in these areas."

He said there were now almost 8,500 people across Scotland trained in suicide prevention skills and every council now had its own local suicide prevention plan.

He added that half of key frontline medical staff would be trained in suicide prevention by 2010.




SEE ALSO
Scots death rates 'vary widely'
16 Feb 07 |  Health
Scots suicide rate highest in UK
30 Aug 06 |  Scotland
Football bid to aid mental health
11 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Study looks at suicide attitudes
15 Feb 06 |  Scotland
Wealthy kids not always healthy
22 Jul 05 |  Health
Highland suicide toll is revealed
11 Jul 05 |  Scotland
Life expectancy gap 'widening'
29 Apr 05 |  Health

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