A NATIONAL charity believes suicides could be reduced by almost 20 per cent in England if it followed Scotland’s lead in suicide prevention.

Over the last two years the Andover district has sadly had 18 suicides – predominantly among young men – while nationally suicide is the biggest cause of death for under 35-year-olds.

PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide) chairman Stephen Habgood said: “If the Government had taken the lead given by Scotland with its Choose Life campaign, which was properly resourced and had a clear implementation strategy, and a 20 per cent target to reduce the rate of suicides, this report would have a much better story to tell.

“Scotland saw an 18 per cent reduction in the number of suicides.

“In England a similar improvement would have led to 814 lives being saved.

“We are saddened that the Government has given no new resources to help deliver its strategy and it is disappointing that there is no implementation plan or any indication about how its success will be measured.”

PAPYRUS is increasingly concerned that in various parts of the country Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are seriously under-resourced to meet the increasing demands for their services.

The charity will be pressing the Government to ensure these services are able to meet the needs of young people who are at risk of suicide.

Particular concern is expressed about the increasing rate of suicide among the very young (in the under 15 age group a rise from nine in 2011 to 17 in 2012), the charity believes the reality could be even more shocking.

He added: “It is alarming that a suicide verdict cannot be given for those under ten years when suicide is clearly a very distressing outcome for those who are so young.

“We have long been concerned about the accuracy of suicide statistics and the inadequacy of suicide data for the very young sufferers.”

Every year in the UK between 1,700 people under the age of 35 take their own lives – three-quarters of them are young men.