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Mind responds to ONS figures showing increase in deaths by suicide

Tuesday, 06 September 2022 Mind

This morning the ONS published statistics showing a rise in the number of deaths by suicide between 2020 and 2021.

Responding to the statistics, Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, said:

“It’s concerning to see an increase in the number of deaths by suicide in 2021 in England and Wales. Although suicides went down slightly during the height of the pandemic, they now seem to have returned to pre-pandemic levels. Even one suicide is one too many, and men are still accounting for three in four deaths. The causes of suicide are many, complex, and vary from one person to another.

“We’re also worried about the increase in suicides among young women, and we’re unclear as to exactly what is behind this. What we do know is that young people were among those hardest hit by the pandemic, greatly affected by loneliness and isolation associated with lockdowns, school closures, missed exams and concerns about future careers. Women are more likely to have experienced traumatic events such as abuse and are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health problem. Social media – which can be a valuable source of peer support – can also negatively affect young people’s mental health and self-esteem, as users may be encouraged to scroll through others’ unrealistic images, which often portray their lives in the best possible light.

“Recent events including the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis are taking their toll on the nation’s mental health. Our new PM must prioritise committing to investing in mental health services, including prevention and early intervention right up to crisis services for people at their most unwell – self-harming, experiencing psychosis or suicidal thoughts. We also want to see a re-commitment to the long-awaited cross-Government 10 year plan which must outline how different departments will work together to prevent suicides and identify and tackle the many contributory factors to poor mental health and suicidal thoughts and actions.”

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