Recent figures show that the rate of recorded suicides in England and Wales has risen to pre-pandemic levels after disruption and delays in forensic investigations during 2020.
A recent report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that there were 5,583 suicides recorded in 2021 – equivalent to 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people. These numbers are similar to those in 2018 and 2019, although higher than in 2020, where the rate was slightly lower at 10 deaths per 10,000 people. The Office for National Statistics explained that the decline in recorded suicides in 2020 was likely driven by the decline in male suicides and the delay in the registration of deaths.
This latest report includes deaths that occurred in 2020 and were recorded the following year, which the Office for National Statistics suggests provides evidence that the suicide rate has not increased due to the pandemic.
What can be done about suicide?
One of the ways we can prevent suicide is by reaching out to those in need. Another way is through research, so suicide is better understood and ultimately prevented. Here are four MQ-funded projects working to prevent people from committing suicide:
We know that when someone attempts suicide and is hospitalized, the risk remains that they will attempt suicide again. However, there is currently no standard evidence-based assistance that employees can provide to reduce this risk. Many may find that they experience delays in getting support from a counsellor, psychiatrist or psychiatrist as well.
Professor Rory O’Connor and his team at the University of Glasgow conducted a study that looked at how a support program developed for US veterans could be adapted to meet an urgent need in the UK.
The results indicated that SAFETEL The study was acceptable and feasible. Hospital staff reported that the intervention suited and complemented existing services, and patients reported that they preferred the simplicity and person-centered approach to the safety planning intervention.
HOPES funded by MQ The project aims to develop a model to predict who is at risk of suicide – analyzing brain scans and data on suicidal behavior and traits of young people from around the world to identify specific global risk factors. Find out more
If we can identify the warning signs in schools, we will have the opportunity to create targeted interventions to prevent children and young people from attempting suicide. To do this, Dr. Rena Dutta and her team are correlating data from schools with mental health data – providing unique insight into determining whether factors in schools can predict suicidal behavior. Find out more.
Dr. Aidan Maguire and her team at Queen’s University Belfast are discovering whether access to a gun increases the risk of suicide. This has been proven in the US, but in the UK – where laws and culture vary greatly – no research has been done in this area.
Aydin’s study will discover innovative and have the potential to support vital new methods of suicide prevention. Find out more.
If you are struggling to fit in, please contact the Samaritans toll-free on 116123 (UK and ROI), via email [email protected] or visit Samaritans site To find the details of the nearest branch. Samaritans is available 24/7 for anyone struggling, so please get in touch.
You can find more resources for a range of different mental health conditions on our website Get help now page.