Action call over Sunderland suicide figures

Mental health campaigners are calling for action after new figures show that an average of 35 people a year take their own lives in Sunderland.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 1:25 pm
Suicide figures action call

The figures come on World Suicide Prevention Day – held annually on September 10 – and show that, between 2018 and 2020, 104 people were registered as having died by suicide in Sunderland.

The Office of National Statistics figures are the latest available data – meaning a suicide rate of 14.4 per 100,000 people.

That was up from 12.4 per 100,000 in the previous three years and above the national rate, which was 10.5 deaths per 100,000 people.

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Jacqui Morrissey, assistant director of research and influencing at the Samaritans, said: “Any life lost to suicide is a tragedy and we know that the after-effects of the extraordinary last 18 months will continue to impact people’s lives in the years to come.

“Funding should be made available to further develop and deliver practical support services to prevent suicide among groups at the highest risk.”

Brian Dow, deputy CEO of charity Rethink Mental Illness and co-chairman of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance, said the pandemic had led to an increase in risk factors for suicide.

He said: “Reform and investment in health, social care and our benefits system is critical."

A Department for Health and Social Care spokesman said: "We are committed to doing everything possible to reduce suicides and support people’s mental wellbeing."

Contact Samaritans for free at any time on 116 123, or visit www.samaritans.org