Globally, c.800,000 people a year die by suicide.
Since 2013, Great Britain has seen a gradual decline in the number of people dying by suicide, but from 2017, numbers have started to grow and are expected to continue to increase.
Evidence suggests that men are three times more at risk of dying by suicide than women; both men and women between 45 and 49 are most at risk. The rate of younger people (under the age of 25) dying by suicide has been increasing in recent years.
There is no one reason why individuals may experience thoughts about suicide. People think about suicide for a variety different reasons - and no thought or reason is more valid than the next. Suicide can happen to anyone and, behind each suicide, is an often-complex story including social, psychological and cultural factors such as:
People experiencing thoughts of suicide may also have thoughts that they have let themselves or others down, that nobody cares about them, that they are a burden or a failure, that there is no point in living, or that they will never find a solution to their problems.
Asking somebody how they are feeling can sometimes be enough to break a thought pattern focussed on suicide; this is something we can all do.
We should pay attention to the wellbeing of others, whether they be family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances or strangers.
If you are worried that someone may be experiencing thoughts of suicide, talk to them: ask them about how they are feeling. You can help someone who is feeling suicidal simply by listening to them without judgement; listening can sometimes be more powerful than talking.
If you are concerned about your own, or someone else’s, thoughts of suicide, you should contact the emergency services if you believe there may be an immediate risk to life. If no immediate risk to life is present, speaking with a GP is likely to be beneficial; they will be able to discuss the services and treatments available. Other sources of support include: