Hands

London’s suicide spike: 2 a day

23 February 2017
  • Every week, an average of 14 Londoners choose to end their own lives.[2]
  • Between 2014 and 2015, the number of suicides in London increased by 33 per cent from 552 to 735 incidents – the highest figure recorded by the ONS since records began in 2002.[3]
  • Three quarters of people who commit suicide in London are male and suicide remains the biggest killer of working-age men.[4]
  • Camden, Hammersmith & Fulham, Islington and Southwark all have suicide rates at least 25 per cent higher than the London average.[5]

The London Assembly Health Committee publishes its findings and recommendations to the Mayor of London today on how he can provide better support for suicide prevention in the capital. The letter recommends:

  • London should become a ‘zero-suicide’ city (first adopted in Detroit), preventing suicide by creating an open environment for people to talk and find out where they can get help.
  • The Mayor should deliver on his manifesto commitment and take ownership of reducing suicide in London.
  • The Mayor should work with Public Health England and the Association of Directors of Public Health to collate all suicide data in London.
  • The Mayor should look into real-time data capture to identify trends and potential clusters and look to carry out a pilot in a London borough.
  • The Mayor should support the CALM helpline to remain open, as funding is due to end later this year.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the Health Committee, said: 

“It is shocking that every week, an average of 14 Londoners choose to end their own lives. Every death is a personal tragedy and has devastating effects not just on family and friends, but also on the wider health service.

What is particularly alarming is how the number of suicides in London has grown over the years. The Mayor of London promised to take action on preventing suicide in London in his manifesto and we urge him to do everything in his power to deliver on this. London urgently needs to become a ‘zero-suicide’ city.“

Follow us @LondonAssembly and take part in the discussion using #AssemblyHealth and #PreventSuicide

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see www.samaritans.org for details. 

Notes to editors

  1. Suicide prevention letter attached below.
  2. Suicides in England and Wales by local authority, ONS (Table 1)
  3. Suicides in England and Wales by local authority, ONS (Table 1)
  4. Suicide in the United Kingdom, ONS (Table 7)
  5. Suicides in England and Wales by local authority, ONS (Table 2)
  6. Dr Onkar Sahota AM, Chair of the London Assembly Health Committee, is available for interview. Please see contact details below.
  7. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

 

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officerNon-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.