There is an average of one male suicide every 10 days in Wigan

Wigan men are taking their own lives at a rate of one every 10 days - far above the national average.

Monday, 3rd June 2019, 8:22 am
Updated Monday, 3rd June 2019, 9:22 am
New figures reveal Wigan's male suicide rate is above the national average

The only consolation to these tragic figures is that they used to be even worse.

Figures show that between 2015 and 2017 no fewer than 73 men took their lives in the borough: a rate of 17.3 per 100,000 residents. The national rate is 14.7.

The rate of male suicides in 2010 to 2012 was worse still at 22 per 100,000.

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New figures reveal Wigan's male suicide rate is above the national average

Female suicide rates in the borough for 2015-17 are also higher than the national average: 5.3 as opposed to 4.7.

Together this also means that men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.

The figures were released as it was reported that Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service personnel have been called out to 531 suicides and suicide attempts in the last eight years, raising fears for the impact on emergency workers’ own mental health.

Wigan men were over three times more likely to take their own lives during the three-year time period. But the gap was lower than it was from 2010-12, when the male suicide rate was around 22 in every 100,000 and about four in every 100,000 for women.

Discussions about male mental health have become increasingly prominent in recent years, with high-profile figures such as Prince William speaking on the issue.

Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM, said suicide remained the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK, with an average of 84 men taking their own lives in every week.

He said: “As a society we often conflate strength and stoicism – our research has told us that 84per cent of men bottle up their emotions – and this can be incredibly damaging.

“There is still a stigma surrounding male mental health and suicide, but we’re moving in the right direction.

“More people than ever are contacting CALM and accessing our services and, following our call to the Government last year, the UK’s first Minister for Suicide Prevention was appointed.

The wheels are in motion but there’s a long way to go.”

Gregor Henderson, from Public Health England, said: “Every suicide is a tragedy – it’s important that those at higher risk, including middle-aged men experiencing problems, receive the right support.

“We have worked with local authorities to ensure every area has a local suicide prevention plan and are leading work nationally to prevent poor mental health, reduce suicide rates and improve the quality of life for people living with mental illness.”

CALM can be contacted nationwide on 0800 58 58 58, or on 0808 802 58 58 if you live in London.