This past year has been tough on everyone’s mental well-being, and while it’s been hard to stay optimistic, there’s one note on mental health that BC should consider a positive.
In a media release Tuesday, the BC Coroners Service released the latest statistics showing that the number of suicides since the pandemic was declared last year has decreased.
From April 2020 to February 2021, there were 534 confirmed deaths by suicide in the province, 12% fewer than reported between April 2019 and February 2020.
A total of 609 deaths by suicide were reported in the 2020 calendar year, an average of approximately 51 per month. That figure is consistent with the number recorded in January and February 2021 (98 total deaths) and is a 9% decrease from the 652 deaths recorded in 2019.
Four of the province’s five health authorities recorded fewer deaths between April 2020 and February 2021 than between April 2019 and February 2020.
Vancouver Island recorded 15 fewer suicides from the year prior.
The BC Coroners Service reported 116 deaths by suicide in the Island Health region between April 2020 to February 2021, and 131 between April 2019 to February 2020.
The BC Coroners Service said that there should be an amount of caution when interpreting this data as it requires time to settle and can be subject to change.
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.