Coroner’s concern at young male suicide rate

A South Wales coroner has said he is “desperately concerned” about the number of young men committing suicide in the Valleys.

Philip Walters, Coroner for the Glamorgan Valleys for the last 25 years, said the number of deaths in Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil had “increased substantially” over the last few years.

Over an 11-month period in 2006, he said he dealt with nearly one case a week, the vast majority men under 30.

Latest figures show suicide rates across Wales have been going down slightly in recent years, but Mr Walters said: “I think with young men, you’ve got to be desperately concerned: it’s quite a high percentage and it seems to be higher in the Valleys than in other parts of Wales.”

Joanna Greenslade of the Samaritans in Wales said: “The figures for Neath and Port Talbot are again very high, and we have a major concern for young men.

“We will shortly be launching an awareness-raising campaign aimed at these communities.”