Veteran suicide figures to be recorded for the first time

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A new method for recording veteran suicides in England and Wales has been announced.

A new method of recording veteran suicides in England and Wales has been announced, alongside a 10 year look back to examine veteran deaths through suicide.

For the first time, numbers of ex-service personnel who take their lives will be recorded officially by the government, following an agreement between the Office for Veterans’ Affairs (OVA), the MOD and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This data will be used to further understand where there is a need for dedicated services in England and Wales. The data will allow the government to ensure that these targeted services are signposted to veterans, where they are needed most.

Sir Ian Diamond, National Statistician, said, “The Office for National Statistics is constantly working to provide new insight that can be used to make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable in society.

“Understanding an issue is the first step to solving it and producing this new measure will help inform decisions to tackle deaths by suicide of our incredible armed forces veterans.

“It is important that we invest the time and effort to produce high quality estimates that properly shine a light on this critical issue,” he added on September 21.

The new reporting method will use data collected from the recent veterans question in the 2021 Census and match it with ONS-held data on suicides. This will allow the government to produce a statistic, known as a national measure, of the total number of veterans who die by suicide each year. This is the first time such a figure will be produced. It is expected that the first annual statistics will be published in 2023.

To better understand the lives lost prior to 2022, the government is also conducting a 10 year look back to examine veteran deaths through suicide. This research will be published in 2022.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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