Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Trends relating to suicide

An increase in suicide amongst young men was reported in an article by C. Pritchard in the British Journal of Psychiatry. Several reasons for this increase have been proposed notably, lower rates of marriage, higher divorce rates, high rates of unemployment, misuse of alcohol and drugs, the threat posed by AIDS and increase risk of imprisonment. This trend has been noted in several countries of the European Community however, the increase in the rates amongst men in the 15 to 24 age group was worse in the UK when compared to the rates in most other EU countries. Unemployment has long been recognised as a major risk factor for suicide (see for example the work by Bartley and Plewis) and although the impetus for job creation schemes is often purely economic, the reality is that unemployment also has severe health implications.

The position of the Church of Scotland on suicide remains clear. It offers compassion and understanding rather than condemnation.

the photograph of the young man was taken by Dr. John

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