New figures show that the rate of suicides in England reached 11.4 deaths per 100,000 people in the last quarter of 2019, marking a 19-year high.
According to data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday, 1,413 suicides were recorded in the last three months of 2019, compared with 1,130 in the same period of 2017, marking a 25-percent increase.
Data from the ONS also showed that 74 percent of the suicides were among males, with the most common age being between 50 and 54.
There was also a regional comparison, with the northeast of England having the highest number of suicides, at 12.8 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with 8.4 in London and 8.5 in the northwest.
In July 2018, the standard of proof used by coroners in England and Wales to determine whether a death was caused by suicide was lowered. The ONS cautioned at the time that the change would result in an increased number of deaths that would have earlier been counted under a different classification now being recorded as suicide.
The rise in the number of people killing themselves in England comes as the country is struggling to contain the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 in England and Wales. In 2017 alone, 5,821 suicides were recorded in the United Kingdom. Of those, 75 percent were male. That is in contrast to the 5-year period between 2003 and 2013, when 18,220 people with mental health problems took their own lives in the UK.
In Scotland, the same trend is also observed. The suicide rate there rose by eight percent between 2015 and 2016, with 728 suicides registered in 2016.
According to the ONS, over the past 12 months, there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking their own lives.
The figures showed the number of women who took their own lives increased by only 160 between 2017 and 2019, whereas the number of men who died by suicide increased by more than 700 over the same period.