Based on the National Statistics definition; Suicide includes all deaths from intentional self-harm for persons aged 10 and over, and deaths caused by injury or poisoning where the intent was undetermined for those aged 15 and over. Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death (Wikipedia.org).
Some Risk factors
- Mental health disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse including alcoholism and the use of benzodiazepines are risk factors.
2. Those who have previously attempted suicide are at higher risk for future attempts.
3. People can become suicidal when they feel overwhelmed by life’s challenges. They lack hope for the future, and they see suicide as the only solution. Having a family history of suicide or impulsive behaviour is also believed to increase risk of suicidality.
4. Other risk factors can include:
- Access to firearms
- Isolation from others
- History of physical or sexual abuse
- Having a terminal or chronic illness
5. Some suicides are impulsive acts due to stress i.e. financial difficulties, relationship problems such as breakups, or bullying.
The most commonly used method of varies between countries, and is partly related to the availability of effective means.
Effective suicide prevention efforts would include limiting access to methods of suicide i.e. firearms, drugs and poisons.
Male suicide rates in the UK increased significantly in 2018
In England, a total of 3,800 deaths were registered as suicide among men in 2018, up 14% from the total in 2017 (3,328). This equates to a statistically significant increase in the England male suicide rate, with 15.9 deaths per 100,000 males in 2018, compared with 14.0 deaths per 100,000 males in 2017. The latest rate remains statistically lower than that observed in 1981 when there were 19.3 deaths per 100,000 males in England.
Across time, the male suicide rate for Wales shows a volatile pattern owing to the relatively smaller number of deaths. At the beginning of the time series in 1981, the rate was 16.0 deaths per 100,000 (165 deaths); this is not significantly different from the rate seen in 2018 (19.1 deaths per 100,000; a total of 252 deaths).
Scotland, in recent years, had one of the largest decreases in the male suicide rate. In 2014, the rate was 20.2 deaths per 100,000 (497 deaths); this was the lowest rate observed since the time series began. Since then, the suicide rate for males in Scotland has increased significantly to 24.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2018 (a total of 581 deaths).
The male suicide rate in Northern Ireland was generally consistent between 1981 and 2004, and it has again been mostly consistent between 2006 and now, with fluctuations because of the relatively small numbers. The large increase seen in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2006 coincides with a change to the Coroners Service, therefore figures before and after 2006 cannot be directly compared. The 2018 numbers of deaths and rates for Northern Ireland will be published later this year.
Talking about dying is an obvious sign but there are many others that can indicate risk. The more signs you see, the higher the risk there is for suicide. There are emotional, verbal, and behaviour clues you can observe.
Emotional Markers can include:
- Feeling depressed
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Shame or humiliation
- Mood swings
Verbal Markers include talking about:
- Killing themselves
- Their life having no purpose
- Feeling like a burden
- Feeling stuck
- Not wanting to exist
There are two types of suicidal statements or thoughts. An active statement might be something like, “I’m going to kill myself.” A passive statement might include, “I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up,” or, “I wouldn’t mind if I got hit by a bus.” People often ignore passive statements, but they should be taken just as seriously.
Behavioural Markers can include:
- Isolating from others
- Not communicating with friends or family
- Giving away possessions or writing a will
- Driving recklessly
- Increased aggression
- Increased drug and alcohol use
- Searching about suicide on the Internet
- Gathering materials (pills or a weapon)
Older men are also at increased risk for suicide, and they complete suicide at a higher rate than any other age group. They also are especially at risk because they do not usually seek counselling for depression and other mental illnesses. If you see an older adult who stops taking care of their hygiene, is eating poorly, and/or starts giving away their possessions, then you should help them talk to a mental health professional as soon as possible (Kathleen Smith, Psychcom).
If you think someone might be suicidal, ask them directly “Are you thinking about suicide?” Don’t be afraid to do this, it shows you care and will actually decrease their risk because it shows someone is willing to talk about it. Make sure you ask directly.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, please seek professional support. ITV’s This morning programme recently put together this useful list of helplines where you can find more information and advice.
NHS Choices – Suicide
Comprehensive help and information from NHS Choices with links to external websites.
Tel: 116 123
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 email email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.
Text Shout to 85258
Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
MindInfoline: 0300 123 3393
The MindinfoLine offers thousands of callers confidential help on a range of mental health issues. Mind helps people take control of their mental health. We do this by providing high-quality information and advice, and campaigning to promote and protect good mental health for everyone. They also provide a special legal service to the public, lawyers and mental health workers.
HOPELINEUK – 0800 068 4141
Support for anyone under 35 experiencing thoughts of suicide, or anyone concerned that a young person may be experiencing thoughts of suicide.
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Helpline: 0800 58 58 58
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) works to prevent male suicide and offers support services for any man who is struggling or in crisis. CALM’s helpline 0800 58 58 58 and web-chat are for men in the UK who need to talk or find information and support. The services are open 5pm–midnight daily and are free, anonymous and confidential. For access or to find more information visit thecalmzone.net
Helpline: 0800 11 11
ChildLine is a counselling service for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine in these ways: You can phone on 0800 1111, send us an email, have a 1-2-1 chat with us, send a message to Ask Sam and you can post messages to the ChildLine message boards. You can contact ChildLine about anything – no problem is too big or too small. If you are feeling scared or out of control or just want to talk to someone you can contact ChildLine.
Kooth.com is an online counselling service that provides vulnerable young people, between the ages of 11 and 25, with advice and support for emotional or mental health problems. Kooth.com offers users a free, confidential, safe and anonymous way to access help.
Helpline: 0808 802 5544
Parents’ Information Service gives advice to parents or carers who may be concerned about the mental health or emotional well being of a child or young person.
Helpline: 0808 808 4994
Life’s tough, we know that. It can throw a lot your way and make it hard to know what the hell to do with it all. So, welcome to The Mix. Whether you’re 13, 25, or any age in between, we’re here to take on the embarrassing problems, weird questions, and please-don’t-make-me-say-it-out-loud thoughts you have. We give you the information and support you need to deal with it all.
Students Against Depression
Students Against Depression is a website offering advice, information, guidance and resources to those affected by low mood, depression and suicidal thinking. Alongside clinically-validated information and resources it presents the experiences, strategies and advice of students themselves – after all, who are better placed to speak to their peers about how depression can be overcome.
Tel: 020 7263 7070
At Maytree, we provide people in the midst of a suicidal crisis with the opportunity for rest and reflection, and give them the opportunity to stay in a calm, safe and relaxed environment. We can support four “guests” at a time. The service runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our warm and friendly volunteers and staff team spend up to 77 hours with each guest over their stay, giving them the opportunity to talk through their fears, thoughts and troubles.
Statistics: Office of National Statistics 2018