Campbell calls for action as North continues to suffer highest suicide rates

Gregory Campbell.
Gregory Campbell.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has encouraged the English Department of Health to work with the devolved administrations on suicide prevention in light of higher rates of the phenomenon in the North.

The East Derry MP asked the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health in England, Jackie Doyle-Price, to work to ensure best practice in dealing with suicide was “replicated across the UK” in light of “escalating rates in the regions”.

According to the latest statistics from the UK Office of National Statistics (ONS), published on December 18, between 2015 to 2016 there was a small decrease in the North in the suicide rate for males and a small increase for females.

There were 297 registered suicides for all persons in 2016, fewer than the 318 observed in 2015. In 2016, males in the North had a lower age-standardised rate than observed in 2015, with 27.3 per 100,000 deaths, compared to 30.3 per 100,000 in 2015.

Conversely, females in the North saw an increase, with 9.2 per 100,000 deaths from suicide compared with 8.8 per 100,000 in 2015.

The North, however, had the highest rate in the UK and was significantly higher than Wales and each region of England. The ONS explained that a large increase seen in the North between 2004 and 2006 coincided with the centralisation of the North’s Coroner’s Service in April 2006. Since 2006, there has been no statistically significant change in the North’s suicide rate

In response to Mr. Campbell, Ms. Doyle-Price said she was keen to “learn from areas of the UK” in order to be able to share best practice.

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