Provisional data shows that male suicide is still a big problem and Sheffield is in region with second highest overall suicide rate

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People in need of help are being urged to speak out after new figures showed our region with the second highest overall suicide rate in England.

The Office for National Statistics has released provisional data for suicide death registrations in England for quarter one (January to March) to quarter four (October to December) 2020.

And the figures also showed the rate of those taking their own lives as three times higher for males than females.

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Although the data represents a ‘statistically significant’ reduction in the rate from 2019, this must be taken with caution, as the impact of the pandemic is likely to have contributed to this trend according to the ONS.

It stated: “Taken as a whole, 4,902 suicides were registered in England in 2020, equivalent to a provisional rate of 9.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people; this represents a statistically significant reduction in the rate from 2019 when there were 10.8 suicide deaths per 100,000, but caution is required in the interpretation of this decrease.

“The reduction in the number of suicides registered in 2020 from the previous year most likely reflects delays to coroner inquests, because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as opposed to a genuine decrease in suicide.”

The number of suicide deaths per 100,000 people in October to December 2020 - equivalent to 1,461 deaths registered - is similar to rates seen in the fourth quarter of previous years.

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Of the 1,461 deaths, 1,085 registered deaths were in relation to males (17.7 suicide deaths per 100,000 males) and 376 registered deaths were in relation to females (5.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 females), the rates of which are relatively consistent with previous years.

Yorkshire and Humber had the second highest rate overall in the fourth quarter, with 15.7 suicide deaths, compared to 17.1 deaths in the North East.

In the same quarter in 2019, Yorkshire and Humber was recorded as having the highest rate with 15.4 suicide deaths.

It is important to note that figures for 2020 are provisional and will be finalised in late 2021 in the annual 'Suicides in the UK' bulletin.

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Help is available round the clock, every day of the year. If you, or someone you know, is struggling to cope, call Samaritans for free on 116 123, email [email protected] or visit the Samaritans website.