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Deaths by suspected suicide 2022-23

Published January 2024


Main Points

  1. Collecting and sharing data via Real Time Suspected Suicide Surveillance allows action to prevent future deaths by suspected suicide to be taken in a timely way, by providing up to date intelligence to users on national and regional patterns.   
  2. This is the first year of data collection and analysis will develop as further data are collected. Users should be cautious when using the data due to the shortness of the time series and small numbers in some categories.
  3. Deaths by suspected suicide are reported to Public Health Wales before a coroner’s inquest. It is anticipated that the number of deaths by suspected suicide may be higher than the number of suicides as determined by a Coroner, as some deaths by suspected suicide may be found to have a different cause following a Coroner’s investigation and inquest.
  4. From 1 April 2022 – 31 March 2023 there were 356 deaths by suspected suicide of Welsh residents who died in or outside of Wales, giving a rate of 12.6 per 100,000 people.
  5. Males accounted for 78% of deaths by suspected suicide. The age-specific rate was highest in males aged 35-44 years (29.4 per 100,000), followed by males aged 25-34 years (29.2 per 100,000).
  6. By regional area of residence, Mid and West Wales had the highest rate of death by suspected suicide (15.7 per 100,000), which was statistically significantly different to the all-Wales rate and with North Wales and South-East Wales.
  7. The rates of deaths by suspected suicide in residents in the most deprived and next most deprived areas (13.9 per 100,000 and 13.7 per 100,000) were statistically significantly higher than the rate in residents in the least deprived areas (9.5 per 100,000).
  8. The rate of deaths by suspected suicide in people who were reported to be unemployed was 114.1 per 100,000, which was at least 12 times higher than in any other employment status group.
  9. 74% of the deaths by suspected suicide were in people previously known to the police.


If you need support, information on sources of support in Wales can be found here: Get Help Now - NHS SSHP.   The Samaritans can be contacted for free day or night, 365 days a year on 116 123 (UK and the Republic of Ireland) or by email at, or visit to find your nearest branch. Additional sources of support are listed at NHS help for suicidal thoughts webpage


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