Report into suicides in young people in Wales makes key recommendations

A report published this week by Public Health Walesreviewing deaths through suicide in children and young people in Waleshas called for more to be done to ensure NICE guidance is implemented on themanagement of self harm.

Other key recommendations of the review include:

·         developing an all-Wales child protectionregister which would be accessible by all relevant services

·         restricting access to alcohol by young people

·         ensuring any programmes and interventions aroundsuicide prevention are based on the latest evidence

·         and reviewing progress on suicide prevention ona three yearly basis.

The report highlighted that although rare, suicide is amajor cause of death in teenage years, with around one in four external causedeaths of children aged 12-17 likely to have been a suicide.

The report has been published by the Child Death ReviewProgramme – part of Public Health Wales – and reviewed 34 probable suicides inchildren and young people in Wales over a six year period.

Dr Ann John, consultant in public health for Public HealthWales and associate professor at Swansea University, who was the clinical leadfor the review said: “Whenever someone takes their own life it is atragedy and causes distress for many people – family, friends, professionalsand the wider community.

“This review is a key piece of work in helping us allto understand the factors that have contributed to these deaths, identifyopportunities for prevention and make recommendations to reduce the risk ofsuicide for children and young people in Wales. 

“Suicides are not inevitable and we all have a part toplay in trying to prevent further deaths.”

Health Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The death of achild, whatever the circumstances, is a particularly tragic event and onewhich affects friends, family and the wider community. 

“Understanding the circumstances surrounding a child’sdeath can help people begin to make sense of the tragedy and may help toprevent the deaths of other children. 

“The Welsh Government supports the development of thischild death review programme in Wales and we welcome the publication today ofthe thematic review of deaths of children and young people through probablesuicide.

“This is a very difficult area of research but it isessential that we try and understand the causes of childhood suicide to helpidentify opportunities for prevention and to try reduce the risk.”

Click here to download the report.