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Suicide rate in young people in the UK declined from 1997 to 2003

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What was the suicide rate among young people in the UK between 1997 and 2003, and what proportion had been in contact with mental health services prior to their death?


All young people in the UK, aged 10–19 years.


General population, UK, 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2003.


Annual suicide data were obtained from the Office of National Statistics for England and Wales and from the General Register Office for Scotland and Northern Ireland. The rate of suicide per 100 000 per year was calculated using mid-year population estimates from National Statistics Online (see online notes for more details).


Coroner’s verdict of suicide or undetermined death (open verdict).



Ecological study.


There were 1722 deaths by suicide in people aged 10–19 years between 1997 and 2003. The majority (1598 cases, 93%) of these deaths were adolescents aged between 15 and 19 years with a male to female ratio of 3:1. The remaining 124 deaths (7%) were in juveniles aged 10–14 years, with a male to female ratio of 1.5:1. The overall rate …

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  • Source of funding: National Patient Safety Agency, Scottish Government, Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in Northern Ireland.