Suicide rates up for first time in 6 years

The number of suicides in the UK has risen for the first time since 2013, according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, at an age-standardised rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population. This is an increase from 2017 where there were 5,821 suicides registered in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 10.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

Three-quarters of registered deaths from suicide – 4,903 deaths – in 2018 were among men, which has been the case since the mid-1990s. The statistics noted a significant increase in suicide rates in the 10- to 24-year-old female category, with 3.3 deaths per 100,000 females in 2018 – up 83 per cent since 2012.

Commenting on the “extremely worrying” statistics, Ruth Sutherland, CEO of Samaritans, said: “We know that suicide is not inevitable, it is preventable and encouraging steps have been made to prevent suicide, but we need to look at suicide as a serious public health issue.

Referring to the “particularly concerning” rising rate of suicide in young people, she added: “We must understand what is contributing to the recent rise in suicides, and try to ensure this generation doesn’t carry a higher risk of suicide throughout their lives.”

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