Emergency crews are on scene. (Image: Tylor Sherman / Flickr )

Although suicides rates are down across British Columbia, Victoria did experience the third highest number of suicide deaths in 2017, according to the BC Coroners Service most recently released report.

In 2017, Victoria saw a total of 41 suicide deaths, just behind Vancouver, which experienced 73 suicides and Surrey, which had 48 during the same time period.

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While the total number of suicides in Victoria was relatively high, the rate of suicides per population were higher in other areas of BC, namely in the north and in the interior.

The average rate of suicide deaths throughout the entire province was approximately 12 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017. In northern BC, however, the Northern Health Authority reported the highest rate of deaths with 18 per 100,000 people, followed by the Interior Health Authority with 17 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

The majority of suicides throughout the province were between the ages of 30-59 years old, and over three-quarters of the people involved were male.

The three most common means of suicide death were by hanging, firearm, and poisoning, according to the Coroners Service.

While the statistics may sound alarming, suicides throughout the province are on the decline.

In 2017, BC experienced 572 suicides deaths. In the three years prior, however, deaths measured above 600 with 603 recorded in 2016, 615 totalled in 2015, and 644 reported in 2014.

The BC Coroners Service’s records of suicide deaths by the top 10 townships between 2007-2017 can been seen below:

(Graph / BC Coroners Service)

The BC Coroners Service full report on suicide deaths can be viewed online here.

All Canadians can find advice and contact a crisis centre in your area at this link: suicideprevention.ca. Crisis centres are available throughout Canada, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the B.C. Crisis Centre Distress Line number at 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433.

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