Dorset suicide rate highest since records began

Dorset suicide rate highest since records began

Published by George Sharpe at 2:03pm 6th September 2019. (Updated at 2:05pm 6th September 2019)

The number of suicides recorded in Dorset last year was the highest on record, figures show.

It reflects the trend seen across the UK, where the number climbed to its highest for three decades in 2018, driven by a significant rise in the male suicide rate.

Office for National Statistics figures show that 47 suicides were recorded in Dorset in 2018, the highest since comparable records began in 2002. 

That's an increase on 2017, when 35 were recorded. 

The suicide rate in Dorset was 12.2 per 100,000 people in the area - above the rate across the South West which is 11.2 per 100,000.

Three quarters of suicide victims in the UK were men last year
Three quarters of suicide victims in the UK were men last year

Nick Stripe, from the ONS, said:

"We saw a significant increase in the rate of deaths registered as suicide last year, which has changed a trend of continuous decline since 2013.

"While the exact reasons for this are unknown, the latest data show that this was largely driven by an increase among men who have continued to be most at risk of dying by suicide.

"Looking at the overall trend since the early '80s, we are still witnessing a gradual decline in the rate of suicide for the population as a whole.

Men made up three quarters of suicide victims across the UK last year. 17.2 men per 100,000 took their own lives, which the office for national statistics says is a "significant increase from the rate in 2017".

The exact reasons for the rise are unknown but it could be affected by changes made to the way coroners record such deaths.

Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland said:

"It is extremely worrying that, for the first time in five years, the suicide rate in the UK has increased, with 686 more deaths than in 2017.

"There has also been a significant increase in the suicide rate in young men since 2017. Significantly, more men aged 45-49 took their own lives also, and middle-aged men remain the group at greatest risk of suicide overall."

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article, you can contact Samaritans through their website, by calling their confidential phone line 116 123 or by emailing