Suicides on the rise in Southend

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The number of recorded suicides is on the rise in Southend, according to new government data.

A breakdown of the number of suicides recorded across the UK has been published by the Office of National Statistics and it reveals that the number in Southend has jumped from 12 in 2016, to 18 in 2018.

By comparison, Essex’s other unitary authority in Thurrock saw rates drop from 23 to just 10 over the same period.

Both authorities have been working with Essex County Council on a Suicide Prevention Strategy which has the short-term goal of slashing suicide rates by 10 per cent by 2020.

Councillor Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “Suicide rates nationally are something we should all be aware of and something we can all help to reduce and prevent.

“Talking to our loved ones when they need it most and directing them to relevant agencies such as the Samaritans can help make a difference.

“In June, the council approved a draft suicide prevention strategy which looked at different ways of reducing the stigma around mental health and helping people spot the signs early where possible.

“Any death is extremely difficult to deal with and suicide has additional difficulties due to the unexpected nature of the deaths. We will also be sharing various messages across social media in the lead up to and on the day of World Suicide Prevention day on Tuesday September 10.”

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Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter