Male suicide rate 'at highest level in nearly a decade'

 

The number of people taking their own life in Britain increased “significantly” in 2011, official figures revealed today, as the male suicide rate hit its highest level in nearly a decade.

A total of 6,045 suicides were recorded among people aged 15 and over, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, up 437 or 8% on the previous year.

The number of male suicides increased 8% to 4,552, which at a rate of 18.2 per 100,000 was the highest level since 2002. Female suicides also rose 8% to 1,493 or a rate of 5.6 per 100,000.

Last year, the Government announced a further £1.5 million in funding for research into suicide prevention among those most at risk of taking their own lives.

The pledge came as ministers unveiled a new suicide prevention strategy which aims to cut the suicide rate and provide more support to bereaved families.

The overall suicide rate in the UK increased from 11.1 to 11.8 per 100,000, the ONS said, while the highest suicide rate was among men aged 30 to 44 at 23.5 deaths per 100,000.

Among women, the highest rate of suicide was among 45 to 59-year-olds at 7.3 per 100,000.

In 2011, additional guidance was given to improve the classification of narrative verdicts at inquests in England and Wales.

A narrative verdict is a long-form, factual record of how and in what circumstances a death occurred and is used as an alternative to short-form verdicts such as suicide.

There had been concerns among researchers that these classification rules forced the ONS to record probable suicides as accidents.

So in 2011, the ONS identified common phrases used by coroners to terms allowed for the classification of intentional self-harm.

This additional guidance could have resulted in an increased number of narrative verdicts coded as intentional self-harm in 2011, the ONS said, which in turn could have contributed to the increase in the suicide rate.

Care services minister Norman Lamb said: "Losing a loved one to suicide is a tragedy. Even one life taken by suicide is one too many.

"The rise in the numbers of people committing suicide causes very real concern. We need to tackle this head on.

We published a refreshed Suicide Prevention Strategy last year precisely because we take it seriously. The strategy targets those most at risk by providing the right interventions at the right time.

"We also need to make sure information about treatment and support is available to those who need them, including those who are suffering from bereavement following a suicide.

"Giving greater priority to mental health services, and to improving access, are also critical. The Government has made its intent on this very clear through the first NHS Mandate."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine