The latest government data shows that there were 5,821 suicides registered in 2017 in the UK, and the number and rate has decreased for the third year in the row. That’s good news but it’s still too many. The Government Blog says:
The decrease has mainly occurred in men, and the picture is different for women with the number of suicides remaining stable. However, men still account for three quarters of all suicides. Also, rates are not uniformly decreasing for all groups of men; rates in some age groups are increasing, for example men aged 45-49.
The fall in men suicide is extremely encouraging. In recent years, there has been a conscious and sustained effort to prevent suicide in men and reduce stigma around seeking help. Of course, a reduction in rates cannot be attributed to any one thing, but the figures certainly suggest that something is working.
Although, since men are still three times more likely to take their own lives than women, our work is certainly not done. We must continue to target suicide prevention interventions at men to bring the rates down even further.
It is also crucial that we understand how suicide trends differ between groups (for example, between men and women, and different age groups) if we are to truly understand why people take their own lives and how we can prevent it.
Communication seems to be key. The Samaritans also have useful info on the subject.