Politics and Insights

Figures released in February by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that suicide rates, which had fallen consistently since 1981, are now at their highest in over a decade. It is primarily male suicides which have increased.

The figures for 2013 give a total of 6,233 deaths by suicide, 252 more than in 2012.

Suicide rates are highest in areas of high unemployment, with the north-east of England having the highest rate and London the lowest. Older males are now the most at risk, with 45-59 year olds having the highest rate.

The link between the welfare “reforms” and increased suicide risk has been highlighted by Mind, amongst other organisations. The charity has found that people with mental illnesses are having their benefits cut more than those with other kinds of illnesses.

There has been growing concern regarding how benefits are administered in relation to vulnerable individuals and last year…

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