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Married people "less suicidal"

Married people "less suicidal"

Married people are three times less likely to commit suicide than those who are single, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows 10.3 single women per 100,000 took their own lives in 2005, compared with 3.6 married women.

And over the time period, 30.8 single men per 100,000 killed themselves, compared with 10.6 per 100,000 who were married.

But overall, the total number of suicides has decreased from the 5,123 recorded in 1982, to 4,527 in 2005.

Mental health expert Professor Nigel Wellman, of Thames Valley University, said the findings are probably due to the fact that married couples can support each other.

The Samaritans said in a statement: "Having strong social networks can be a very powerful protective factor for your emotional health and can help you deal with difficult times.

"Having a stable and secure environment and a lasting and meaningful relationship can influence mental and emotional health and wellbeing, not least because it means people are more likely to have someone they can confide in openly and honestly.

"Samaritans receives contacts from people who are lonely and isolated and also from people who have relationship problems.

"It is important that whether people are in a relationship or not, they have the opportunity to talk about any problems they are having before they escalate."

ONS

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"Dr Richard Weisler, of the University of North Carolina, plotted positions of suicides on a map, which showed clustering around two industrial processes. There was also clustering of brain cancer deaths in the same locations, suggesting airborne pollution as a likely cause. He published his research in November 2005. Dr Dick van Steenis and I have plotted suicides on a map of Telford and Shropshire and found correlation between high rates of suicide and high rates of asthma and infant mortality, and also high rates of premature deaths from cancers and heart disease in corresponding electoral wards. The Stafford Post of 21 November 2007 reported our observations on the Gnosall suicides, which are part of a much larger cluster. More information at www.ukhr.org" - Michael Ryan, Shrewsbury

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