Suicide rate reaches record high across the East Riding
The number of people losing their lives to suicide in the East Riding has reached a record high, new figures reveal.
A jump in the national suicide rate has sparked concern among mental health charities, who warn the coronavirus crisis could exacerbate existing risk factors behind the cause of death.
The latest statistics came ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day which sees organisations come together globally to raise awareness.
Public Health England data shows there were 115 cases of suicide in the East Riding between 2017 and 2019 – the latest period for which data is available.
It means the area’s suicide rate was around 13 per 100,000 population – the highest since records began, and up from 11.4 between 2016 and 2018.
Men accounted for more than three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in the East Riding over the three years – 89 compared with 26 women.
Men aged 45 to 49 had the highest suicide rate, at 25.5 deaths per 100,000 males.
Samaritans said this is a “worrying trend that has persisted for decades”, while the ONS added higher rates of suicide among middle-aged men might be due to economic hardship, isolation and alcoholism, with men in this category also less likely to seek help.
The suicide rate in the East Riding over the last three years was higher than that across Yorkshire and the Humber as a whole, where 12.0 cases were registered per 100,000 people.
Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland said callers to its services are now generally more anxious and distressed than before the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: “Undoubtedly, the pandemic has affected everyone in society, but Samaritans is particularly worried about three groups: people with pre-existing mental health conditions, young people who self-harm, and less well-off middle-aged men.”