More than 55,000 people end their own lives in the European Union each year.

In England, that figure is 4,722 – that’s one death every two hours – and at least 10 times that number attempt suicide

Around 78% of suicides are men and in almost all cultures, the suicide rate rises with age. The highest rates of suicide in the UK are among people aged 45 to 49 years and it remains a common cause of death in men aged 40 to 44 with 26.9 deaths per 100,000 people.

Certain factors are known to be associated with increased risk of suicide. These include:

  • drug and alcohol misuse
  • history of trauma or abuse
  • unemployment
  • social isolation
  • poverty
  • poor social conditions
  • imprisonment
  • violence
  • family breakdown

People with a diagnosed mental health condition are at particular risk. More than 90% of suicides and suicide attempts are associated with a psychiatric disorder, the majority of which are depressive disorders.