Despite the recent publicity given to suicides amongst young people in Bridgend, South Wales, the overall suicide rate among young men in England and Wales is at the lowest level for 30 years, according to researchers from Bristol University; for women, overall suicide rates are at their lowest level for 40 years. One reason may be that people find it harder to kill themselves.
The study said car exhaust emission legislation introduced in 1993 contributed to falling suicide rates from carbon monoxide poisoning, because of an increased number of cars with catalytic converters, which make fumes less toxic.
However, the proportion of women aged 15-34 committing suicide by hanging has increased ‘massively’ – from 5.7% of all suicides in 1968, to 47.3% by 2005. Suicide rates were also found to mirror unemployment rates.