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 302 were male and 100 female.
  • The suicide rate is significantly higher for all persons (13.4), males (19.6) and females (6.1) when compared to England (10.4, 15.5 and 4.9 respectively).
  • There has been a steady increase in the suicide rate in Lancashire-12 between 2007-09 and 2017-19 for all persons (from 11.7 to 13.4 per 100,000 of the population). 
  • Rossendale (18.2) has the highest suicide rate of the twelve districts in the Lancashire-12 area (for all persons 10+) and is significantly worse than average for England. Chorley (18.1) is also significantly worse. The other districts are similar to England, with rates varying from 15.6 in Preston, to 8.0 in Pendle.
  • Residents of Lancaster, Chorley and Preston account for over a third of the deaths from suicide and injury of undetermined intent in the Lancashire-12 area (169 of 421deaths).
  • In Blackpool, the suicide rate for all persons (17.4) and males (25.6) is significantly higher than the respective England rates; the rate for females is similar (6.4).
  • In Blackburn with Darwen, the suicide rates for all persons (9.3), males (10.7) and females (5.9) are similar to England. 

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 (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.
  • The rate in Lancashire-12 had been decreasing year-on-year from 2013/14 to 2019/20.
  • 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 November 2021