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Suicides soar among elderly Britons due to recession

world Updated: Jul 16, 2012 19:57 IST

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Recession is taking a toll on elderly Britons as a new study has found that suicides are more prevalent among them than any other age group.

According top the figures from the Office for National Statistics show that suicides among men aged over 55 are up 12% over the past decade.

Men aged 45 to 54 were still most likely to develop suicidal tendencies, according to mental health charity, Calm.

Campaigners warn that the recession may be having more of an impact on older men who are finding themselves thrown out of the jobs market with little chance of retraining.

Official data show that of the 4,517 people who killed themselves last year in England and Wales 75% were men, reported the Daily Mail.

Relationship status is also a key driver of suicidal tendencies, according to a YouGov survey carried out for Calm of adults who had considered taking their own lives.

The other important factor included the number of children in the household, with 18% of men with one child expressing suicidal thoughts compared with 27% with three or more children.

Intervention services were often failing to reach and engage with working class men who were most at risk, said Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of Samaritans.

It emerged that people in Manchester are more likely to kill themselves than residents of any other city.

Campaigners there have criticised cuts to services for making the situation faced by people with depression more difficult.

The government was this week due to publish its suicide prevention strategy, but a spokesman for the department of health said this had been postponed until September.