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20 Dec 2023

SANE comments on annual suicide figures showing little change in rate

The Office for National Statistics has published the latest figures for deaths registered as suicides in England and Wales during 2022.

The data showed there were 5,642 suicides, a slight rise on 2021 when 5,583 deaths were registered. The 2022 rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people, was unchanged on the previous year. Again, nearly three quarters of suicides registered last year were males (4,179 deaths or 74.1%). That is equivalent to 16.4 deaths per 100,000, while for females the rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000, consistent with rates between 2018 and 2021.

Middle-aged men

Commenting on the figures, Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of SANE, said: “It remains deeply concerning that rates remain so high in middle-aged men and although those among young women fell in 2022, they are high in comparison to previous years.

“The percentage of callers to our helpline talking about suicide, either ideation or plans, has increased in recent years so that now over half of all calls mention suicide or self-harm.

“From our own studies we know that those experiencing suicidal feelings become exhausted with no help, and we are disturbed by the high levels of depression and anxiety where there are long delays in receiving treatment. More than a third of suicides could be prevented if people were treated before they reached crisis point.

“The government’s new five-year suicide prevention strategy will only have an impact if there is long-term investment in services to ensure that everyone at risk has access to the support they need before it becomes too late.”

If you need help, support or information in a crisis, or for someone you know, SANE is here 365 days of the year. For more details visit: SANE support at Christmas

  • While it is troubling to observe minimal change in annual suicide rates, identifying the problem is an important step. Continuous efforts in mental health awareness, accessible support networks, and focused interventions are required to address this chronic issue and aim toward a significant reduction in suicide rates.

    Thiagoros - 15 Jan 2024, 10:08am

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