Male suicide rate at its lowest since records began
Figures released today show that male suicide is at its lowest in more than 30 years
The 2017 suicide rate for males in the UK was 15.5 per 100,000, representing 4,382 suicides. It's the lowest rate since 1981.
However, men are still three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
The total number of both male and female suicides in 2017 was 5,821 compared with 5,965 in 2016, a fall of 144 or just over 2.4 per cent.
There were 1,439 female suicides in 2017, with the rate remaining stable at 4.9 per 100,000, consistent with the downward trend over the past 10 years.
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: "It’s encouraging to see the reduction in male suicide. We believe that the focus of suicide prevention in recent years to tackle the higher rates in men has contributed to this. Added to this, reducing stigma around men’s mental health and encouraging men to open up and ask for help when they are struggling has been beneficial. But one death by suicide is still one too many.
"Suicide is complex and it’s a problem of inequality. It affects the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in society, male and female, disproportionately. This is an urgent public health issue, not simply a health or mental health one."
Three quarters of suicides registered in 2017 were for men. This male/female ratio has been the case since the mid 1990s.
Men aged 45-49 continue to be the age group with the highest suicide rate, with 24.8 deaths per 100,000 in this age group.
Among women, the age group with the highest suicide rate was 50 to 54 year olds, with at 6.8 deaths per 100,000.
Scotland had the highest suicide rate in Great Britain, with a slight decrease to 13.9 deaths per 100,000 persons.
Rates for England fell slightly to 9.2 deaths per 100,000, the lowest in Great Britain. There was an increase for Wales to 13.2 deaths per 100,000 (from 11.8 for 2016).
Within England, the North East region has the highest suicide rates and London the lowest. Figures for Northern Ireland will be published later this year.
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