Suicide - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:04 pm on 8th September 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Shadow Spokesperson (Health) 1:04 pm, 8th September 2020

My Lords, we need to return to statistics. Last week, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that new figures from the ONS showed that the number of suicides in England fell during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Could the Minister confirm to the House that this was mistaken? While the figures cited by the Health Secretary are the latest reported by the ONS, the ONS also clearly said that those figures

“cannot be used to show the number of suicides with a date of death in 2020, including those that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

It is likely, it continues, that it

“reflects delays to inquests … due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

As government statistics show, the last time the suicide rate was this high was 1988. I would like to know what government resources are being applied to this and that they will not be cut back.