§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the linkage between changes in levels of suicide and unemployment among young men. 
§ Ms Jowell
The Department has not directly commissioned research into the linkage between changes in levels of suicide and unemployment among young men. There are a number of relevant papers which discuss the complexity of this issue. These include studies by Colin Pritchard:Is there a link between suicide in young men and unemployment? A Comparison of the UK with other European Community Countries (British Journal of Psychiatry, London, volume 160, June 1992, pages 750–756) and Suicide, Unemployment and Gender in the British Isles and European Economic Community (1974–1985)—A Hidden Epidemic? (Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Berlin, volume 23, number 2, 1988, pages 85–89).
Recent Life Events, Social Support and Suicide (Heikkinen M; Aro-H; Lonnqvist J, National Public Health Institute, Department of Mental Health, Helsinki, Finland, SO: Acta-Psychiatr-Scand-Suppl, volume 377, 1994, pages 65–72) reports the findings of a national suicide study in Finland.168W
The Department does fund the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness. A progress report published on 12 December 1997 showed that 58 per cent. of people in contact with psychiatric services who committed suicide were unemployed or long-term sick. A copy of the progress report has been placed in the Library.