Suicide rates up - particulary among men
Men are the main reason for the first increase in suicide rates since 2013.
There was an increase of 11.8% in suicide rates in 2018 compared to 2017. The rate for females was up - and there is a worrying increase among younger women - but not statistically significantly while the rate for men increased to 17.2 deaths per 100,000 males in 2018, up significantly from 15.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2017.
The latest suicide rate for males is similar to 2013, when it previously peaked, but it still remains significantly lower than in 1988 when it was at its highest (21.4 deaths per 100,000 males).
Despite having a low number of deaths overall, rates among the under 25s have generally increased in recent years, particularly 10 to 24-year-old females where the rate has increased significantly since 2012 to its highest level with 3.3 deaths per 100,000 females in 2018.
Suicide is complex and since every case is different, it can be difficult to identify global causes for an increase. However, in July 2018, the standard of proof used by coroners in England and Wales to determine whether a death was caused by suicide was lowered to the “civil standard” (balance of probabilities) where previously a “criminal standard” was applied (beyond all reasonable doubt). The change does not affect Northern Ireland or Scotland.
The government's statistical service the ONS say: 'It is likely that lowering the standard of proof will result in an increased number of deaths recorded as suicide, possibly creating a discontinuity in our time series. With the data in this release, it is not possible to establish whether the higher number of recorded suicide deaths are a result of this change.'
The Forum's CEO Martin Tod said: 'Whatever the reason for the trend, far too many men are still dying too young from suicide. Reducing male suicide has to remain a top priority.'
- Samaritans are free to call 24/7 on 116 123 (UK and ROI). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch.
It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.
Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.
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