- In 2019, there were 5,691 suicides registered in England and Wales, an age-standardised rate of 11.0 deaths per 100,000 population and consistent with the rate in 2018.
- Around three-quarters of registered deaths in 2019 were among men (4,303 deaths), which follows a consistent trend back to the mid-1990s.
- The England and Wales male suicide rate of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 is the highest since 2000 and remains in line with the rate in 2018; for females, the rate was 5.3 deaths per 100,000, consistent with 2018 and the highest since 2004.
- Males aged 45 to 49 years had the highest age-specific suicide rate (25.5 deaths per 100,000 males); for females, the age group with the highest rate was 50 to 54 years at 7.4 deaths per 100,000.
- 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 3.1 deaths per 100,000 females in 2019.
Wellspring was established in 2003 and is based in Starbeck, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. They provide affordable, psychological support to people in distress and promote good mental health through education and training.
Emily Fullarton, Executive Director of Wellspring, said:
To see an increase in the rate of suicides is tragic and deeply sad.
These figures only provide a snapshot of the pain and distress these individuals and their families will have been through.
Poor mental-health is preventable with timely intervention and appropriate support, but sadly this support is not available enough to those who need it.
At Wellspring, in the last few months we have seen a 40% rise in the rate of referrals to our adult and youth counselling services, reflecting the national picture that COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on our emotional wellbeing.
At Wellspring, we provide affordable counselling and support to children, young people, and adults, and we also offer mental health training. It is our aim to equip individuals and to help them manage depression and feelings of despair effectively.
As we work alongside other health services in the local area, we believe it is possible to prevent further serious issues developing and to affect lasting transformation in the lives of individuals.
We are committed to our vision to not only work preventatively and develop resilience, but also to restore hope and facilitate positive change. However with the rise in demand there needs to be an increase in resources.
Wellspring is currently funded by the community and does not receive any government or health funding. We hope more resources will be made available, nationally, to charities like ours so we can respond and stop the decline of our communities mental-health.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:
Every suicide is a tragedy and it is worrying that we continue to see particularly high rates among males and in certain age groups, including a long-term increase in under-25s generally.
Suicide prevention is a public health priority for local government and every council has a suicide prevention plan in place. Councils are already working closely with schools, railway operators, businesses, hospitals and the police to prevent suicide and help those affected by it.
We also need a new national focus on helping everyone stay mentally well, including for those affected by coronavirus, backed-up by funding for councils to spend with local partners such as the voluntary and community sector, to help prevent more serious problems from developing.
The forthcoming Spending Review provides an opportunity for much-needed investment in council services, including public health, to help further strengthen local action to reduce and prevent suicide using councils’ locally-driven approach.