After two consecutive years of increases in the overall suicide rate in England and Wales, last year saw a decrease again, to from 11.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019 to 10.0 in 2020. Caution is necessary in interpreting this figure however, as the ONS notes: "The decrease is likely to be driven by two factors; a decrease in male suicides at the start of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and delays in death registrations because of the pandemic". As noted in the statistical release, "figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring in each calendar year",, adding that, even before the pandemic, "due to the length of time it takes to complete a coroner’s inquest, it can take months or even years for a suicide to be registered."
While the stark difference in rates between men and women remains - 15.4 compared to 4.9 - there are also sizeable gaps in the rates between the regions of the country. The highest rates are in the North East (13.3) and Yorkshire and the Humber (11.5), while the rate in London is as low as 7.0 - the lowest region now for five years running.
If you or somebody you know are in need of help, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 (UK and Ireland), email email@example.com, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of the nearest branch.