Number of university students committing suicide nearly doubles since 2000 with men twice as likely to take their own lives, new figures show

  • 95 student suicides recorded in year ending July 2017  compared to 52 in 2001
  • Male students accounted for twice as many suicides as female students
  • Office for National Statistics said analysis help inform policy and prevent deaths
  • Readers can call the Samaritans for confidential advice on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org

By KATE FERGUSON, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR MAILONLINE

The number of university students committing suicide has nearly doubled since 2000, new figures today show.

The figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, comes amid growing alarm at the issue after ten students took their lives in just 18 months at Bristol University 

Some 95 student suicides were recorded in the year ending July 2017 - nearly twice as many as the 52 noted in 2000/2001, according to the ONS.

Over the 16 years which experts looked at, some 1,330 students took their own lives, according to official records.  

Around twice as many men studying at higher education institutes have taken their own lives own compared to women over the same period.

On average, students in England and Wales committing suicide were just 26 years-old. 

The numbers will spark alarm that people are not getting the help they desperately need when they are feeling low. 

But the figures also show that the suicide rate among university students is lower than the general population.

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The figures show that 95 student suicides were recorded in the year ending July 2017 - nearly twice as many as the 52 recorded in 2000/2001.

The number of students committing suicide has remained pretty steady over the past few years at 93 the 2015/ 2016 and 102 in 2013/14. 

Theresa May has made tackling mental health one of her key pledges since becoming Prime Minister two years ago.

But critics have warned that the Government has failed to pump the money needed to beef up mental health services and ensure people are getting the support thy desperately need. 

Male students are far more likely to take their own lives than women, the alarming figures show. 

Of these 878 (66 per cent) were males and 452 (34 per cent) were females. 

Head of Information at the mental health charity Mind, Stephen Buckley, said: 'We lose almost 6,000 lives a year to suicide and every one is a tragedy. 

'Not all suicides are mental health-related but the majority are and we know that often people, especially men, struggle in silence and find it difficult to know how to ask for help. 

'More needs to be done to ensure everyone feels able to seek the help they need so fewer people reach crisis point for their mental health.'

He said that anyone experiencing problems should seek help.

John de Pury, Assistant director of policy at Universities UK, which represents universities, said: 'This new release is the most comprehensive data we have on the rate of suicide among university students. 

'Although there is a lower rate of student suicide among university students in England and Wales compared with the general population of similar ages, there is no room for complacency here. 

'This remains an urgent challenge for universities and society. 

Sarah Caul, Senior Research Officer for the ONS, said: 'To help provide insight into the issue of student suicides we have produced new analysis examining suicide trends among higher education students.

Theresa May has made tackling mental health one of her top priorities since  becoming PM

'The rate of suicide in 2016 to 2017 in higher education students was 4.7 deaths per 100,000 students. 

'Although higher than in earlier years, the comparatively low numbers of suicides per year make it challenging to identify significant differences.

'Meanwhile, the rate for suicide in female students is significantly lower than the rate in males. 

'This is also observed when looking at overall student suicides as well as the differences in studying patterns.

'Today's analysis will help to develop policies and initiatives for those at greatest risk of suicide.'

The ONS cautioned that the figures are quite low and therefore susceptible to fluctuations between the years.

 Mr. Murray

Mr. Murray

Mr Murray told the Sunday Times his son's (pictured below) death was a complete shock as he had not shown any previous cries for help

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The problem of student suicides has come under the spotlight after ten people studying at Bristol University killed themselves in just 18 months.

Among them was Ben Murray, an English student was only 19-years-old when he took his own life. 

Since his death, his parents have questioned why Bristol University did not do more to get in touch with them when he began to fall behind in his studies.

His father James, 50, a businessman living in Cornwall spoke about his last meeting with his son at lunch, where he confessed that he could have been more open about his feelings when he was younger.

Only a few hours later after saying goodbye, Ben was dead.

He told The Sunday Times earlier this month: 'Maybe he was trying to tell me how serious his situation was in that last lunch, but all he said was that the university had given him a warning. 

'Last Tuesday was the end of the first month of living with the reality that our youngest son has taken his own life. It has been the longest month of our lives.' 

Anyone struggling to cope should call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit their website at www.samaritans.org.  

Culled from Mail Online