Newly released data from the Office for National statistics shows that the suicide rate in Wales is higher than in any of the England regions.
Whilst the adult suicide rate per 100,000 population in 2003 was 11.4 for England and Wales as a whole, the rate for Wales alone was 13.9. The rate of male suicide in Wales per 100,000 population was 22.5, compared to 17.6 for England and Wales combined; the rate for Women in Wales was 5.5 per 100,000 population, compared to 5.7 overall.
Neath Port Talbot emerged as one of the regions with the worst suicide rate, with 18.8 adults per 100,000 population committing suicide. The suicide rate for men in this area was particularly high at 32.6 per 100,000 population.
Merthyr Tydful and Carmarthenshire were also shown to have a high proportion of male suicide, with rates of 28.4 and 27.9 respectively. Conwy, on the other hand, had the second highest rate of female suicide in England and Wales, with 13.6 deaths per 100,000 population.
Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, stated: “Sadly the high suicide rates in Wales are to some extent a reflection of the state of services that deal with mental illness.
“A significant number of suicides result from diagnosed severe mental illness, especially schizophrenia; but this is not inevitable: good support services which prevent people from languishing alone and in despair can make all the difference.”
To read the full report on suicide rates for England and Wales, go to: www.statistics.gov.uk