The latest figures gathered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and published by the Department of Health show that in England there were 4,524 suicides in 2012, continuing the slight upward trend that we have seen since the start of the recession four years ago.
Furthermore there has been a 13% increase in the number of suicides among people who had been in contact with mental health services in the past 12 months.
Sam Challis, Information Manager at Mind, the mental health charity, said:
“We are really concerned that suicide rates are increasing year on year. Yet again the figures indicate that many middle aged men in particular are taking their own lives. Whilst there is lots of good work within suicide prevention, we urgently need to see more initiatives aimed at this demographic in particular, to increase resilience and build better social networks.
“Shockingly men account for 77 per cent of suicides and research by Mind has found that men are much less likely to seek help for a mental health problem than women. We urge family and friends to look out for signs and encourage people to go to see health professionals as soon as possible, before things spiral into crisis. Clinicians should also be taking into account the concerns raised by family and friends if they fear someone is at risk of taking their own lives, whilst also respecting confidentiality. We welcome the key actions around this in the suicide prevention strategy.
“It’s alarming to see suicide rates among those in touch with mental health services is on the rise. We know that crisis services are stretched, so people may not be getting the support they need. Individuals would benefit from closer monitoring, better quality and more joined up services.”
Read the latest statistics and updated suicide prevention strategy
Mental health services