The Northern Health Authority had the highest rate of suicide deaths in the province in 2017, followed closely by the Interior Health Authority region.

Those numbers were just released by the BC Coroners Service.

Andy Watson is the Manager of Strategic Communications…

“If we look at the rate for the Northern Health Authority and the Interior Health Authority we’re averaging between 17 and 18 deaths per 100 thousand individuals for those two health authorities. The overall rates for suicides province-wide was 12 deaths per 100 thousand so it shows a higher concentration of suicide deaths in the north and the interior regions.”

Watson says while suicides are down province wide, from more than 600 in the previous three years to 572 in 2017, the opposite can be said for this region…

“For the northern interior we saw a rate of 16.9 deaths per 100 thousand. That’s up slightly from what we saw in 2016, so while the general trend province-wide is a slight decrease from 12.4 deaths in 2016 to 11.6 deaths in 2017 per 100 thousand, we’re looking at slight increases in the northern interior and also in the corresponding neighbouring districts, including the Thompson-Cariboo.”

Watson says males accounted for three quarters of the suicides in 2017.

Just four percent involved those 18 and under.

Watson says the most common means of suicide deaths were hanging (225), involving firearms (97), and poisoning.(84)