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In 2011, the suicide rate in the United Kingdom shot up rapidly, reaching the highest number since 2004. The 8 percent increase from 2010 to 2011 highlights the effect of financial hardship in uncertain times.
In 2011 there were 6,045 suicides in the U.K. That is 437 more than the prior year, equaling 11.8 deaths per 100,000 people.
Male suicides increased to 4,552 or 18.2 per 100,000 people. Female suicides went up to 1,493 at a rate of 5.6 per 100,000, marking the highest number in six years. Men in their late 30s and early 40s were the most vulnerable. Suicide is considered the second greatest killer among young men globally.
“The rise in the numbers of people committing suicide cause very real concern,” said care service minister Norman Lamb.
“We need to tackle this head on ... we also need to make sure information about treatment and support is available to those who need them, including those who are suffering from bereavement following a suicide. Giving greater priority to mental health services, and to improving access, are also critical.”
The U.K. has increased spending on suicide prevention strategies to provide more support to families experiencing serious problems that may impact mental health. The goal is to prevent people from harming themselves in a time of distress.
“We want to reduce suicides by better supporting those most at risk and providing information for those affected by a loved one’s suicide,” continued Lamb. “Effective suicide prevention requires combined effort from a wide range of organizations across the voluntary, statutory and private sectors. That is why I’m delighted that almost 50 national organizations have responded to the Call to Action and what we gave worked with Samaritans in order to help provide support to those most in need.”
Source: MedicalNewsToday, The Lancet
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