A report into suicide prevention has said that a combination of measures are needed to reach a long-term aim of reducing the number of suicides to zero.

The Isle of Man has a higher suicide rate than our neighbouring jurisdictions, with an average rate of 10 per 100,000, though this has risen and fallen again in recent years.

Published by the government's public health division, the report makes clear that moving to a point of no suicides will not happen overnight and that some interventions will take decades before the results can be seen.

It said: 'Some interventions such as giving children a better start in life and teaching resilience in schools may take decades before we see changing fortunes in their middle age. The long-term goal of zero suicides must be broken down to smaller increments, in order to move towards it.'

The new five-year strategy will focus on short term outcomes including developing a suicide prevention network linking statutory, private, third sector, leisure groups, community bodies and experts by experience within the Isle of Man. This network extends overseas, to UK national and regional suicide prevention initiatives for supervision, best practice, and bench-marking.

Other short-term outcomes include developing intelligence, so better understanding the risks, evaluating and monitoring progress.

The most important short term outcome is prevention, which the report breaks down into three levels, primary, stopping mental health issues before they start, secondary, which focuses on early detection and intervention and tertiary, to target recovery and reducing the risk of relapse.

Over the next three years, this will focus on resilience, awareness and training, 'postvention', which is aimed at assisting people who have lost a loved one to suicide and safer care to better support people with mental health issues and ensuring that those in crisis get meaningful and accessible support.

The report said: 'Actions will be both universal (aimed at everyone) and targeted (particularly focusing on those most at risk, or where interventions maybe most effective). The priority groups are identified with reference to the local data. When it comes to implementation, every action must specifically consider each priority group relevant to that action, alongside the universal response.'

The most common risk factors recorded by public health are mental health problems and past suicide attempts, followed by relationship problems, victim of abuse, substance/alcohol misuse and long-term pain/illness/debility.

Of the 65 cases looked at between 2016 and 2021, 42% were Manx born and 97% were residents and only 3% were recorded as being LGBT, though this figure does appear to be surprising.

The report also documents that 62% of suicides happen in the person's own home and 28% were in a public place. However, the report found that there are no 'hotspot' locations.

It also found that 75% of those who died by drug overdose, 75% used drugs that had been prescribed.