There are still over 5,000 deaths by suicide in England each year. The male rate currently remains 3 times higher than female, but female deaths by suicide are increasing at a higher rate than male deaths.
The new strategy highlights the risk factors of domestic violence, gambling, online safety and people on the margins of society because of poverty, ethnicity, disability or prejudice – it also looks at concerns around pregnancy and new mothers and those from marginalised groups and ethnic minority groups including people who are Gypsy, Roma or Travellers, refugees and asylum seekers,and people who are LGBT – all groups that we work with daily at Solace.
It’s encouraging to see that tackling both domestic abuse and online safety are priorities, as well as promoting responsible media content to reduce harms, improve support and signposting, and provide helpful messages about suicide and self-harm.
We are also finding that there are many factors still affecting women who work for and use our services; we are recovering from a pandemic, with known impacts to mental health, and many of us have been impacted by the rising cost of living. We know that financial abuse is a massive concern and fears about finances, housing and homelessness keep women in abusive and unsafe relationships. In addition we know that more than three women a week take their own lives as a result of the trauma of abuse. This figure is likely much higher if we include mental health issues resulting from abuse and addictive behaviours used to manage the trauma.
We agree that suicide is everyone’s business and the more we can understand the causes and provide support and therapeutic services, the more we can help women and girls to live safe lives with futures free from fear.
Read the strategy in full here