Working class men 10 times more at risk of suicide says St Helens MP

Conor McGinn MP
Conor McGinn MP
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Working-class men in deprived areas are 10 times more at risk of suicide than those in the most affluent areas, an MP has said.


St Helens North Labour MP Conor McGinn called for more to be done to improve the mental health of young men in more deprived areas, and said class and community should be recognised as "key factors" in why people take their own lives.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr McGinn said: "It devastates me to have to say it, but St Helens has the highest rates of suicide in the country and three-quarters of these who took their own lives are men.

"What we know is that working-class men in deprived areas are 10 times more at risk than those in the most affluent areas.

"Will you recognise class and community or poverty and place as key factors in male suicide?"

Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price said: "The more we can do to share good practice about what is being done to combat male suicide, the more we can prevent it, because everyone here wants to do more to prevent suicide.

"Place is extremely important too, and a very big part of my plans is to make sure we are putting good measures in in those places that are particular spots that do attract more suicide."

Tory MP Chris Davies (Brecon and Radnorshire) said suicide in the farming community is an issue, and asked what is being done to improve the mental health of men under 40 in rural areas.

Ms Doyle-Price said: "There are particular high incidences in the farming community, not least because these tend to be people who work remotely with less engagement with other people, and they also have access to means.

"What we must do is make sure that all men who are vulnerable feel that they can reach out to people who can support them, and I would encourage everybody - and it's a message we all need to get out to people - if we see people who look vulnerable, look like they are struggling, we should all be comfortable about reaching out to them.