LONDON - British researchers say parts of England and Wales with more suicide prevention programs had bigger drops in deaths than regions with fewer services.

Experts analyzed data for people who killed themselves between 1997 and 2006 who were in contact with mental health services before they died.

The researchers found that providing 24-hour crisis care correlated with a significant fall in suicide rates. But the authors from the University of Manchester and elsewhere couldn't prove such programs were directly responsible for fewer deaths.

The biggest drop in suicide rates -- about 10 per cent -- was seen in the poorest regions after numerous strategies were introduced. Areas without many prevention policies didn't see much change in their suicide rates.

The study was published Thursday in the journal, Lancet.