The UK has made progress over the last couple of years in bringing down the suicide rate in the country. Figures
from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last December showed that in 2016 the rate experienced its largest decrease for twenty years. In 2017
, the figure fell even further to 10.1 - the lowest it has been since 2007. Widely credited for this change is the prevention work undertaken in the country with the ONS last year saying: "The national suicide prevention strategy
for England has included work to reduce the risk of suicide in high-risk groups".
With the UK government hosting the first ever global mental health summit, its recent efforts are underlined today as the prime minister created a new position in England
- the minister for suicide prevention. The Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price will take on the role.
While the stark difference in rates between men and women remain - 15.5 compared to 4.9 - there are also sizeable gaps in the rates between the countries of the UK. The highest rate is in Northern Ireland with 18.1 (2016), and the lowest in England with 9.2. This hasn't always been the case though. When looking back twenty years, Northern Ireland actually had the lowest rate (9.6) and England the second-lowest (10.6).
If you or somebody you know are in need of help, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch.