The Office of National Statistics has published their latest report on deaths by suicide in the UK. The report shows an overall increase in deaths of this kind during last year and overall they are at their highest since 2004.

Specifically, the figures show an increase in the number of male suicides last year which was at the highest level since 2002. The numbers are proportionately greater especially in the age group 30 – 44. In total 4,552 male suicides were reported.

Female suicides rose to 1,493. The numbers in the 15- to 29-year-old females have also risen significantly although suicides in this age group are rare.

The statistics this year might be higher due to changes in reporting requirements for the World Health Organization as well as the fact that Coroners in England and Wales were asked by the ONS to give an indication of the circumstances of the death such self harm where a “narrative verdict” had been given. This may have increased the figures.

Nevertheless campaigners and support groups are calling for more help.

The Samaritans recently launched a specific campaign called “We’re in your corner” which targets men at risk of suicide. The campaign’s aims are to encourage men to seek help, understand why this group of men is most at risk of suicide and influence policy makers and service providers.

Stephen Platt, spokesman for the Samaritans commented extensively on the report and the factors which can contribute to suicide. He also calls for national suicide prevention strategies to address suicide as a health and social issues.

If suicide has affected you or someone you know, or you need legal help and advice following a death in the family call us in confidence.

Suicides in the United Kingdom, 2011 – Office for National Statistics
Samaritans’ comment on the 2011 Office for National Statistics suicide figures