Figures for 2015 from The Office for National Statistics, which are the latest available, showed a rise in Hillingdon from 8 suicides in 2014 to 45 in 2015. The stats were published in December. See table below.
Dr. Raj Grewal, Operations Co-ordinator at Healthwatch Hillingdon, had not seen the figures but said: “In the last year, the number of suicides feels abnormally high but it could be that more people are contacting us.
“It’s difficult to come to a conclusion, it’s very different for each person but we have regular people come in to see us at least twice a week who express suicidal intentions. If I haven’t heard from some of them within a week I worry that they have taken their life.”
Dr Grewal said: “We want a clear and ambitious target set for suicide reduction so all of Hillingdon’s mental health services can work together to achieve that. I would personally like to see the rates reduced by 30%.”
Campaigners have been calling for a suicide prevention strategy for Hillingdon.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told a recent National Suicide Prevention Alliance conference: “There is some brilliant work already taking place in mental health but more needs to be done to make care more consistent across the country. I am committed to transforming suicide prevention services and our updated suicide prevention strategy sets out to do more to help those groups at greatest risk.”
Samaritans, a charity that supports people at risk of suicide, has a local branch available in Uxbridge which aims to be there for people day or night.
The charity doesn’t just wait for people to get in touch but they visit residents locally so as many people as possible know who they are and how they can help them.
Samaritan volunteers can be contacted any time by contacting 116 123.