"The latest data from the Office for National Statistics said 4,912 suicides were registered in 2020 in England, with the male suicide rate at 15.3 per 100,000 and the rate among women at 4.9."
What's missing of course is any mention of the significant tranche of suicide deceased in GB/Ireland, who were unknown to either GP or any healthcare resource, before their death by suicide. O'Connor et al. (1999) confirmed that of 142 suicides in Greater Belfast in 1993/94, 64 (45.1%) had almost negligible contact with healthcare in the year before their death. Less than 5% had contacted their GP, or had any psychiatric history, or had been hospitalised. They were likely to have died as a result of their first suicide attempt, almost 50% were living alone at that time and over half (53.1%) were in employment. I'm not aware of any more recent published study based upon coroner's office files although Black (2021) estimated that "around 70% of people who die by suicide in Northern Ireland are not known to mental health services."
Clearly, additional psychiatric resources would be unlikely to impinge upon the fate of that significant, but unrecognised, 'at risk' constituency. Whether they could reduce suicide's attrition of recently discharged psychiatric patients is not addressed in the Guardian piece, although the Royal College of Psychiatrists does suggest therein that 'proper follow-up care [may] prevent suicides'.
My own work has convinced me of Durkheim's (1897/2002) view that suicide is a political issue - he referred to his research as a 'study in sociology' - that will not be effectively addressed other than by determined political policies, strategies and resources underpinned by a comprehensive understanding of human suicidal behaviour in all of its complexity and brutality.
I recently joined up online with a US initiative - called iCause or PAUSE - whose mission is summarised here:
"ICAUSE (International Coalition for Addressing & Understanding Suicide Experiences) is: a global collective, grounded in compassion, social & economic justice, and health equity for all, valuing lived experiences with suicide; with the purpose of reducing the suffering associated with suicide and reducing suicide death rates through community engagement, support, education, advocacy, and research that informs clinical & non-clinical practices. ~ 2021.12.03".
Whether this outfit will grasp the nettle of reform by engaging effectively and forcefully with the dominant dual hegemony of psychiatry and psychopharmacology, remains to be seen. For sure their reference to 'social and economic justice' as a key component of suicidology seems to point in that direction.