Why is Teesside the UK’s Capital for Suicide?


What’s being done to prevent suicide in the Area

Suicide is among the major reasons behind the death of men under 50 in the UK. Although the rate of suicide has decreased over the past 30 years nationally, when it comes to Teesside there hasn’t been any substantial ratio changes. Still a very large number of people commit suicide in this area. The chart below shows the suicide rate of different areas per 100,000 population in 2015/17.

It is evident from the chart that the suicide rate in Teesside Middleborough is much higher compared to the rest of the UK.

Lack of Records

The residents of the Teesside don’t have much access to the facts and figures relating to suicide and self-harm in the area. The figures we have are just the information from Local hospitals A&E admission. However, many cases of self-harm and suicide don’t even go through AE departments, means we as town don’t even know the real figures of people who suffer from these issues.

The Mental Health Stigma

One of the major reasons behind the high rate of suicide in the area is the stigma attached to mental health. The stigma, myths, and stereotypes attached to mental health issues and people suffering from them make it difficult for people to discuss their issues with anyone. It is high time that we as a community start removing this stigma by addressing the mental health issues so that people don’t find it difficult to come out of the closet. Instead of helping people suffering from mental health issues and having suicidal thoughts, people still call them coward and selfish in 2019, which is hard to believe. We need to stop being mean to people with real mental health issues and be supportive to them while educating them on the subject more openly. We should try to stop people from taking their own lives in the area by helping anyone who is battling with mental health issues by dispelling any myths and eliminating stigma attached to mental health and suicide.

Key factors of suicide in the Tees valley

• Lack of services for those bereaved by suicide.

• Lack of understanding of the people who self-harm.

Who is at risk of suicide in our area and why?

The risk of suicide-related behaviour is thought to be determined by complex interplay of biological and social issues.

• Gender – current statics identify men are three times more likely to die from suicide than women.

• Age- The suicide rate in teens is rather low in the area. However, men in their middle life commit suicide more. This shows that middle age is a crucial age group and time to identify any mental health problems in people. For that matter, the subject should be spoken about in Teesside schools.

High-Risk Suicidal Groups

• People with a drug abuse history

• People with a history of self-harm

• People who have been in contact with the criminal justice system

• Unemployed people

• People who live alone

What services are given to people with mental health in Teesside?

• Charity groups

• Mind Samaritans

• Primary care services visiting your GP

• support groups and counselling services

• Specialist services – Tees ESK wears valley mental health foundation trust.

Local Mental Health Trust in the Tees Valley Area
Mind Teesside local Charity trying to tackle Mental health issues in Tees Valley

Media engagement

Media must be used to raise awareness regarding tackling the stigma attached to mental with people in Teesside so that they reach out to people when in need.

What needs to be done to stop suicide rates from going up

Understand why high-risk groups such as males won’t access traditional services such as visiting there GP if they are suffering from mental health issues. Comprehensibly identify the factors and then provide education and training to the local population and workplace to have a better understanding of mental health.

Article By Chloe Tempestoso

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