Although efforts to destigmatise mental health issues have born fruit in recent years, the latest ONS statistics show that the male suicide rates in England and Wales have reached a twenty-year high. Figures for women have also risen to a higher level than the 2004-peak. Sadly, in 2019, 5,691 people took their own life with three-quarters of them male. The ONS statistics also show a significant rise in the rate of suicide among women between the ages of 10 and 24. Since the mid-1990s, the number of men dying by suicide has been significantly higher, with the latest ONS figures confirming this trend. The rates were highest among men between 45 and 49 as well as women between 50 and 54. In the report summary, the ONS reiterates that the issues surrounding suicide are extremely complex, encouraging people to seek help by contacting charities such as CALM or the Samaritans. Both charities and many others have a host of supports in place and are available around the clock by phone, webchat, or email to anyone struggling to cope.
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) responds to males suicide rates in England and Wales increase
CALM is one of the charities focusing its work on helping people who are struggling with severe mental health issues. Reacting to the latest ONS figures, CALM CEO, Simon Gunning admitted that the statistics made “for very difficult reading.”
“At CALM we interact with people affected by this issue every day, and we can plainly see the pain so many people experience after losing a loved one through suicide. This report highlights the scale of the issue and brutally illustrates that, while great strides have been made around mental health and suicide awareness in recent years, this issue is not going away. Now more than ever, we must acknowledge this and act with urgency.”
“In these times of uncertainty, CALM strives to bring hope, hope that things can get better and that we can all come through life’s tough times with the support, understanding and comfort of those around us. This is everybody’s issue: we all go through difficult times in life and the feelings and emotions that come with that are something that unites us as a species. We’re all connected and we’re all in it together. ”
CALM has been going from strength to strength and reaching ever more people. Last year alone, the charity prevented 675 suicides. The anonymous and free CALM webchat and helpline are supporting more and more people. And, together with other charities, issues surrounding mental health struggles are no longer a taboo.
Mental health support in the UK from the NHS and many different charities
Apart from the NHS providing local mental health supports and online advice, multiple charities are offering and delivering vital mental health services across the UK. Information and relevant links are available on the NHS website.
In recent times, the government has sought to increase its spending on mental health services and broaden the services on offer, promising to invest an extra £2 billion over the next five years.