Action call over suicide figures

Almost a dozen suicide deaths were registered in South Tyneside last year, new figures show.

Action call over suicide figures.
Action call over suicide figures.

As charities call for greater action ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day, Office for National Statistics figures show 11 deaths were registered in South Tyneside in 2021 – in line with the year before.

With a further 10 such deaths recorded in 2019, it means the area has a suicide rate of 7.7 per 100,000 people over the three years to 2021 – down from eight in 2018-20.

There were 5,583 suicides registered nationally in 2021, a rate of 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which is up from 10.0 in 2020, but the figures only include registrations in 2021, meaning they could include deaths that occurred in 2020 but were registered the following year due to disruption to coroners' inquests caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness said the increase in the suicide rate nationally highlights the need to tackle the “many” risk factors, including debt, financial stress and housing instability, all of which are being exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.

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Jacqui Morrissey, assistant director of research and influencing at the suicide-prevention charity, Samaritans, said: "We want to see a new national suicide prevention plan, led by the Government."

The Department for Health and Social Care said: "Every suicide is a tragedy and our sympathies go to the family and friends of those affected."

A spokesperson added that it is prioritising children and young people's mental health and investing £57m in suicide prevention through the NHS.

*Samaritans can be contacted free at anytime on 116 123 or visiting www.samaritans.org.