news

Suicide among those aged 25 and under at its highest rate for 15 years in London

Official figures show that there were 87 deaths due to suicides of 11 to 25-year-olds in 2015

Samaritans offers a free helpline to talk to people

Suicides among those aged 25 and under in London is at its highest levels for 15 years.

In 2015, there were 87 deaths of 11 to 25-year-olds due to suicide, the highest number in a single year since at least 2001.

The number has risen from 67 deaths recorded in both 2013 and 2014, with the last time the number of suicides was at a similar level being in 2003, with 84 deaths recorded.

Among 23 to 25-year-olds, there were 43 suicides in 2015, the highest number in at least 15 years, and up from 31 recorded in 2014.

In 2015, the most recent figures available, there were 26 deaths of those aged 20 to 22, 14 among those aged 17 to 19, three among those aged 14 to 16 and one of a child aged between 11 and 13.

Across England and Wales, there were 122 deaths of 17 to 19-year-olds due to suicide in 2015, which is the year with the most recent figures available.

This was the highest number in a single year since 133 in 2004.

There were 193 suicides of those aged 20 to 22 in 2015, the highest number since 203 in 2003, and up from 159 for the age range in 2014.

The figures show higher numbers of suicides among 14 to 16-year-olds and 17 to 19-year-olds in April.

In total, there were 567 deaths of 11 to 25-year-olds in England and Wales due to suicide in 2015.

This was the highest number in a single year since 584 in 2003. The number has risen from 508 deaths recorded in 2014.

In England and Wales, suicide is defined as deaths given an underlying cause of intentional self-harm or injury/poisoning of undetermined intent.

However, for those aged 10 to 14, deaths from injury/poisoning of undetermined intent are excluded.

Deaths were included in the figures based on the final underlying cause of death.

Head of policy and campaigns at mental health charity Mind, Vicky Nash, said:“We are concerned about any statistics which show higher numbers of suicide in any age group. More research is needed to understand these trends and how to reverse them.

“Every suicide is a tragedy and the reason for each suicide can be incredibly complex. We know that often people struggle in silence and find it difficult to know how to ask for help.

"That’s why campaigns aimed at changing public attitudes to mental health, like Time to Change, which we run with Rethink Mental Illness, are so important – we need to continue to raise awareness and help people speak out about what they are experiencing and ask for help.

“We know that where suicide prevention plans exist they can be really effective in reducing the number of deaths, but not every community has one.

"Every local area must have a comprehensive plan that brings together all the relevant local services and agencies involved in supporting people at risk of suicide."

What help is available?

Samaritans

The Samaritans free helpline is available 24/7 on 116 123.

NHS

If you're reading this because you are having, or have had, thoughts about taking your life, it's important you ask someone for help.

  • Speak to a friend, family member or someone you trust.
  • Call the Samaritans.
  • Go to your nearest A&E and tell staff how you are feeling.
  • Contact NHS 111 by simply ringing 111.
  • Make an urgent appointment with your GP.

NSPCC

If you are a parent and believe your child, or any child, is in immediate danger due to a risk of suicide, call 999 or call 0808 800 5000.

Keep up to date with the latest news from around the county via the free Get West London app.

You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android .

View full mobile page