Suicide rates in Wales fall but middle aged men are still the most high risk group

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Suicides in Wales fell by 37 per cent in 2014, figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today show. In 2014, 247 suicides were registered in Wales, compared with 393 in 2013. Despite the drop in figures, middle aged men from deprived economic backgrounds are still the most high risk group for suicide in Wales. In 2014, 81 per cent of suicides were men and 19 per cent women. Figures also show that there is a notable variation between local authorities in Wales

Sarah Stone, Samaritans Executive Director for Wales, said:

“A large fall in suicide rates is very welcome, but we can and must do more to reduce the number of deaths further by working together, locally and nationally. The variation in suicide rates between different local authorities in Wales highlights the need for local suicide prevention strategies and forums. We believe these should be mandatory and established consistently across Wales. This is one of our key messages for the Welsh Assembly Elections. Local action in suicide prevention could help reach out to high risk groups, particularly middle aged men “

Samaritans Cymru launched its manifesto for the National Assembly Elections 2016, ‘Four Steps to Save Lives’ during Men’s Health Week 2015. The Manifesto aims to identify the best ways of reducing suicide in Wales. You can view or download it www.samaritans.org/wales

You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.

 

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For further information or interview requests please contact Emma Harris, Policy and Communications Officer at e.harris@samaritans.org or 029 2022 2008

 

Notes to editors:

 

  • The age-standardised suicide rate for Wales dropped significantly in 2014 from 14.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2013 to 9.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2014 (a 37% decrease). This is the lowest suicide rate observed since 1981.
  • The male rate decreased from 24.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2013 to 15.3 deaths per 100,000 population in 2014; this is the lowest since 2008, and the second lowest since 1981.
  • For women the rate decreased from 5.5 to 3.4 deaths per 100,000 population; the lowest since in 1981.
  • NB: Methods of suicide have been highlighted by the ONS statisticians. Samaritans’ media guidelines make it clear that these should be publicised as little as possible, given the risks of imitational suicide. For more information please contact the head press office on 020 83948300 (out of hours) 079 4380 9162) or email press@samaritans.org
  • The suicide rates for the UK, England and Wales are based on the deaths from self-harm and undetermined intent, combined, for individuals over 15 years of age. Figures are for deaths of this kind which are registered in a calendar year, rather than occurring in that year. 
  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.