Suicide and self-harm

Suicide is a major issue for society and a leading cause of years of life lost. In England, approximately 75% of suicides are men and male suicide rates are on average three times higher than the female rates. In England, the age group with the highest suicide rate is 45-49 years for males and 45-54 for females. Overall, the suicide rate in England has decreased by 7.4% compared to 2019. The male suicide rate has decreased by 8.4% compared to 2019. The female suicide rate has decreased by 5.8% compared to 2019. (Samaritans' Suicide Statistics 2020). 

Key findings

Deaths from suicide and injury of undetermined intent

Unless specified, the rates below are per 100,000 of the population (aged 10+) and the most recent published data (2018-20) show that:

  • Between the period 2018-20 there were 421 deaths, with the cause of death identified as suicide, in the Lancashire-12 area. Of these 315 were male and 106 female.
  • Lancashire-12 area's suicide rate is significantly higher for all persons (13.4), males (20.3) and females (6.7) when compared to England (10.4, 15.9 and 5.0 respectively).
  • Lancashire-12 area's suicide rate remains worse than the England rate since 2006-08 (10.3). 
  • Rossendale (18.2) has the highest suicide rate of the twelve districts in the Lancashire-12 area (for all persons) and is significantly worse than the England rate. Suicide rate (all persons) in Chorley (18.1), Preston (15.6), Burnley (15.4), Lancaster (15.1) and Wyre (15.0) is also significantly worse than the England rate. The suicide rate in the other six districts is similar to the England rate, with rates varying from 11.8 in Ribble Valley to 8.0 in Pendle.
  • Residents of Rossendale, Chorley and Preston account for over a third of the deaths from suicide and injury of undetermined intent in the Lancashire-12 area (148 of 421 deaths).
  • In Blackpool, the suicide rate for all persons (17.4) is significantly higher than the England rate.
  • In Blackburn with Darwen, the suicide rate for all persons (9.3) is similar to the England rate. 

Emergency hospital admissions for intentional self-harm

Self-harm is an expression of personal distress and it can be the result of a wide range of psychiatric, psychological, social or physical problems. Self-harm can be a risk factor for subsequent suicide, but not everyone who self-harms is suicidal. The 2019/20 rates below are per 100,000 of the population (all persons, all ages).

  • Lancashire-12 area (194.4) is similar to England (192.6), while the two unitary authorities, Blackburn with Darwen (229.3) and Blackpool (284.0) are both significantly higher than England.
  • Lancashire-12 area's rate has remained unchanged for the five years to 2019/20. Blackburn with Darwen's rate also remains unchanged over the five years to 2019/20 and Blackpool's rate is showing a downward trend.
  • At a district level West Lancashire (255.0) and Hyndburn (248.3) have significantly higher rates than England.
  • Ribble Valley (95.6) is significantly lower, with the other nine county council districts being similar to England. 

  For county and unitary data and further information please see below.

Page updated January 2022