Unemployment, Age, Gender and Regional Suicide in England and Wales 1974-90: A Harbinger of Increased Suicide for the 1990s?

Authors: Pritchard, C.

Journal: British Journal of Social Work

Volume: 25

Pages: 767-790

ISSN: 0045-3102


The Department of Health's Health of the Nation aims at a substantial reduction in suicide; this is a ‘vote of confidence’ in the effectiveness of the community psychiatric and health services. However, it will be shown that a number of socioeconomic changes have occurred which may lead to increased suicide; for example British male suicide rose in the 1980s, significantly associated with unemployment. Though female suicide fell substantially over the period, across the regions suicide rates for both men and women were worse amongst the ‘work age’ bands, 16–44 years, than the older groups. In respect to the relatively poorer rates amongst younger women, this may be linked to unemployment and their unfulfilled job expectations. If the suicide targets are not met, it is feared that the ‘failure’ will laid at the door of the community and health services.

Source: Manual