The Office of National Statistics published a report this week regarding the data collected in 2019 on suicides. The key findings were troubling, and once again highlighted the need for suicide prevention, postvention and bereavement support to be invested in across the UK. The figures showed there were 5,691 deaths by suicide in England and Wales in 2019; yet the number of people (families, friends and communities) who would have felt the knock-on effect from each individual would be incredibly difficult to calculate, in the tens of thousands and most likely exceeding. An unbearable amount.
This information is outdated now. 2019 statistics are not reflective of this year’s, this month’s or this week’s figures. The need to collect real-time data is absolutely vital in order to understand the current picture; what is happening right now. Is there a trend in certain demographics? Are there clusters in particular geographical hot spot areas? Who are the most vulnerable? This is all information that deserves immediate action, which can only be achieved with real-time data… not in hindsight.
Next week, Thursday 10th September, is World Suicide Prevention Day. This day is observed each year all across the world, providing a crucial global platform for us to raise awareness about suicide and suicide prevention. We need to talk about suicide! Take a look at https://www.iasp.info/wspd2020/ for ideas and inspiration for what you can do to be involved in an incredibly important day.
We’re delighted to be attending, and speaking at, a national suicide conference organised by OneTeamGov next week to raise awareness of the personal tragedies of suicide, and the suicide prevention actions needed to reduce these preventable deaths. We will be covering real-time suicide surveillance, its importance for deriving vital learning and our background in developing the Suicide Surveillance system which is now being used by 25% of England’s local authorities and their multi-agency partners.
See more about the contributors for the event at https://medium.com/oneteamgov/our-contributors-for-one-team-gov-suicide-prevention-wspd2020-18ffdc0cb72e and read about our system at www.qes-online.co.uk/suicide-surveillance