CALM PRESS RELEASE: A QUARTER OF ADULTS HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE
A quarter of adults have considered suicide
- Suicide is biggest killer of young men in England and Wales[i]
- 30 percent of 25 to 34 year olds have thought about ending their life
- 53 percent of those who considered suicide did so fairly or very seriously
Gender should be at the heart of Government suicide-prevention policy says CALM, which is now expanding its service remit to cover all men
A new YouGov survey from CALM, the Campaign Against Living Miserably, published shortly before the Government is due to launch its new suicide prevention policy, has revealed the scale of suicidal contemplation in England and Wales with as many as one in four people (25 percent) expressing they have considered taking their own life.
CALM welcomes the Government’s commitment to reducing suicide, and the success of work to date in reducing young male suicide. However, 1,110 suicides were completed in 2010 by those under the age of 34, of which 868 (78 percent) were men[ii].
CALM chief executive Jane Powell says: “Our research shows that thinking about suicide is more common than we realise, and that men and women are almost equally liable to feel suicidal. What is significant is that more men actually go on to take their lives[iii].”
Of those who have considered suicide, 53% state that they have thought about it fairly or very seriously, with women (28 percent) more likely to have suicidal thoughts than men (22 percent). However, statistics show that three times as many men as women take their own lives each year.[iv]
The Office for National Statistics figures show that 4,517 people took their lives in England and Wales in 2010 of whom a staggering 75.5 percent (3,411) were men.
Powell continues: “This survey debunks the myth that suicide is only caused by mental illness. Any of us can feel suicidal at some time in our life, but not everyone is able to seek help. What is striking is that even though women are more likely to consider suicide, men find it so much harder to seek help when they hit rock bottom. Gender is the biggest single factor in suicide, so any prevention policy must have gender at its heart.”
Amongst men, the age group most at risk are those aged 45 to 54 (53%). This reflects the fact that suicide rising amongst older men and has led to CALM reassessing its remit.