New figures show increase in student suicide

Written by on 25th June 2018

Suicide rates among students are higher than they were a decade ago, new figures suggest.

New data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also indicates significantly higher suicide rates for male students than their female peers.

The statistics show that overall, there were 95 students in higher education who took their own lives in 2016/2017, which is a rate of 4.7 deaths per 100,000 students.

This compares to 2006/2007, when there were 77 deaths, a rate of 3.8 per 100,000.

The statistics, which cover England and Wales, shows that nearly 2 in 3 student deaths from suicide in 2016/2017 were male.

Among male students, there were 61 deaths, a rate of 6.9 per 100,000, while for women there were 34, a rate of 3.0 per 100,000.

The rates for higher education students are lower than those for the general population, the ONS said.

“All new data that gives us an insight into those who take their own lives is welcome. But, we are concerned about the increase in suicides among students in recent years and would like to understand why this is happening and who is most at risk within this population.” – Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans Chief Executive.

The latest figures only cover higher education students, and do not take in others, for example those in further education.

Meanwhile Samaritans are also calling for quicker reporting of statistics to help others who may be struggling with their mental health.

“Data about suicides is often delayed because of the inquest process, which can be lengthy. This means deaths may not be registered for many months and even years after a suicide. We believe there is an urgent need for more up to date and comprehensive data on deaths by suicide in the UK and we want to see this made a priority.” Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans Chief Executive.

Samaritans offer free help through its helpline on 116 123 or email by

While individual universities have support structures in place for all its students.

University of Sunderland students can find more about their wellbeing service by clicking here.

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