Three out of four deaths by suicide are from men. (Black Press Media File Photo).

Suicide rates not impacted by seasons

While men are three times more likely to commit suicide, women have higher rates of depression

While this week’s Blue Monday has been toted as “the most depressing day of the year,” hard numbers show that anyone suffering from fatal or possibly fatal mental health issues are doing so all year-round.

Suicide rates across the province have been consistent both monthly and annually, according to the BC Coroners Services most recent data, spanning from 2007 to 2017.

On average, 543 people die by suicide provincially every year; of these, an average of 37 are Greater Victoria residents.

ALSO READ: How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

No one month seems more likely than any other, though for several years in the decade-long record there was a very minor increase in the spring and summer months.

The most common methods of death are by hanging, poisoning and firearm. The highest rate is seen in people aged 40-49.

The most outstanding number in suicide deaths, however, is who is dying.

“What our data does show is that men are over-represented in those dying by suicide with about three in every four deaths involving male decedents,” said Andy Watson, manager of strategic communications at the BC Coroners Service in an emailed statement.

University of Victoria assistant professor of psychology Brianna Turner said that this doesn’t mean depression is more prevalent in men.

“Women actually have higher rates of depression, and a higher rate of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts,” Turner said. “But men are more likely to choose more lethal means… they may have more familiarity and access to guns, for example.”

This trend, Turner adds, is seen in a majority of places around the world.

Of course, the statistical data only shows deaths which are determined to be suicide; they do not count unclear deaths nor suicide attempts.

READ MORE: Suicide rate three times higher among Indigenous population

At a local level, the Greater Victoria Police Victim Services (GVPVS) provide emotional and practical support to victims and survivors of trauma and crime. If police come across a suicide or attempted suicide, they offer friends and family members help from the GVPVS.

“It’s hard to predict when we get those calls or referrals and we’re not called for all of them; some people decline our service,” said Karen French, program director at GVPVS. “However, the numbers are pretty consistent, we can’t really predict which months are worse… really, we can find something in every month that could be a trigger.”

French said that typically they are called to between 30-50 suicides or attempted suicides in a year. So far in the organization’s fiscal year they’ve been called to 32.

There is non-judgmental help out there for anyone struggling with mental health issues, for anyone contemplating suicide, and for anyone who knows someone going through the situation.

Anyone who needs help for depression or suicide-related mental health issues can call the provincial suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-Suicide (1-800-784-2433), or visit crisislines.bc.ca to find local mental health and crisis resources. People can also call the Canadian Assistance in Suicide Prevention 24/7 hotline at 1-888-353-2273.

Youth under 30 can also access help through livechat by going to youthspace.ca or need2.ca.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

mental healthsuicide

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

Victoria teen heads to BC Winter Games with badminton team

Alexia Sogai will compete with 10 other teammates from the region

Comic Con returns to Victoria with star-studded guest list

2020 Capital City Comic Con to host cosplay stars and at least 9,500 attendees

BC Ferries sailings filling up Family Day Monday

More than 20 sailings added between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for long weekend

Vikes coach joining Team Canada at Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Two-time Olympian Hilary Stellingwerff named to coaching staff

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citizenship, he was evacuated by the U.S.

PHOTOS: Victoria Cougars beat rival Campbell River Storm on Valentine’s Day

Cougars win 6-2 and continue to lead the VIJHL as playoffs approach

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

Most Read