Rethink Mental Illness responds to new Office for National Statistics figures on suicides in 2020

07 September 2021

The Office for National Statistics published new figures this morning into the number of deaths by suicide that occurred in 2020.

Responding to these figures, Brian Dow, Deputy CEO of Rethink Mental Illness and Co Chair of the National Suicide Prevention Alliance said:

“While caution must be advised when analysing the data, given the delay in reporting deaths by suicide, the recorded fall is encouraging. But behind every statistic is a person who has tragically lost their life, leaving devastated family and loved ones to grieve their loss. The factors that have led to a reduction in the number of suicides need to be understood and acted on.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly led to many people experiencing significant levels of emotional distress, for some severe. In response, people have been offered unprecedented levels of support. Given the long-term reverberations of the pandemic, and an increase in the risk factors for suicide such as debt, housing instability or challenges accessing care, our focus needs to be on ensuring we continue to provide this support where it has made a positive difference to people’s lives. That is why reform and investment in health, social care and our benefits system, which provide vital support to so many, is critical.”