Middle-aged men classed as ‘White British’ are more likely to commit suicide in Doncaster than any other demographic, shock figures show.
Figures presented to councillors revealed there were 429 recorded suicides in Doncaster between 2002 and 2017 - the latest figure of 33 in 2017 was the highest number for 15 years.
A detailed audit focusing between 2015 and 2017 found 64 people took their own life - 100 per cent were classed as ‘White British’, 84 per cent were men and 27 per cent were aged between 51 and 60.
The report seen by councillors said the location of suicides across Doncaster between 2015 and 2018 had been mapped against the ‘index of multiple deprivation’ showing ‘higher incidents in urban centres and areas of higher deprivation’.
The rate of male suicides in the borough are more than twice that of women with 10 per 100,000.
Rotherham had the highest rate of suicides in Yorkshire & Humber with 13.9 people taking their own life per 100,000. Doncaster ranked lower than Wakefield and above Sheffield and Huddersfield.
Doncaster has been awarded £84,000 to improve suicide prevention services and the region has a broader aim of reducing suicide across South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw by 10 per cent at the end of 2021.
Helen Conroy, public health lead for vulnerable people, told councillors the local authority’s Suicide Prevention Plan 2017-19 has targeted training to over 300 professionals, a men’s football tournament for 42 players from seven different occupational groups.
The meeting also heard the council has a range of targeted veteran’s support
services across Doncaster.
The local suicide plan has undergone a ‘peer assessment process’ in co-operation with Bradford Council and has highlighted some areas for improvement in the next plan.
Thorne & Moorends Coun Mark Houlbrook asked if there could be a focus on young people and if money could be directed towards ‘recurring issues’ that lead to suicide.
He said: “It’s all great having all these in place but if you’ve got an individual who has got mental health problems and is involved with substance misuse mental health services won’t deal with them until their off drugs or alcohol which then leads to suicide.
“So it’s all interlinked there where these organisations work and say ‘it’s not our remit’.
Hatfield councillor Derek Smith added: “There’s a lot been done now to highlight mental health and I commend what’s going on here and in sport where we’ve now got footballers coming forward speaking about their mental health problems.
“People like the captain of Doncaster Rovers (James Coppinger) other players and other sports men and women and it’s really helpful.
“My only concern is we don’t have the capacity to respond as quickly as we’d like but there is some good stuff in this report.”
Samaritans offer a free phone line for people if they want to talk to someone.
People can call 116 123 at anytime day or night, 365 days a year.