Over 300 NHS nurses have died by suicide over the last seven years, according to devastating new statistics.
This figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, found how 305 nurses between the ages of 20 to 64 had died by suicide during this seven year period.
The highest recorded year was 2014, when 54 nurses – more than one a week – died by suicide. 51 suicide deaths were reported in 2016, with 32 deaths recorded in 2017.
Furthermore, as cuts continue to chip away at the NHS, a recent study has revealed how female nurses are more at risk of dying by suicide than those in other professions.
As reported by the Mirror, Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth has now called for a government inquiry into these figures, which are an ‘alarming’ 23 per cent higher than the UK average.
Mr Ashworth reportedly said:
Every life lost is a desperate tragedy,
The health and wellbeing of NHS staff must never be compromised.
— Great Run (@Great_Run) October 10, 2018
According to the Mirror, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is also pushing for the Government and the NHS to do more to address these figures, with RCN chief Dame Donna Kinnair stating:
Nursing staff experience high levels of stress, a shortage of colleagues and long working hours. Our members repeatedly say their employers ignore or disregard mental health issues. They feel they ‘should cope’. We must all redouble our efforts to support nursing staff.
Dame Kinnair added:
The Government and all NHS bodies must take a detailed look at why female nurses are much more likely to take their lives than male counterparts.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.
Save a life. Take the free suicide prevention training provided by Zero Suicide Alliance today.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.