OfS responds to ONS statistics on student deaths by suicide

The OfS has responded to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication on estimates for the number of deaths by suicide among higher education students between the academic years 2017-2020.

Commenting on the ONS publication, an OfS spokesperson said:

Every life lost to suicide represents an individual tragedy. Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of all students who have taken their own life. Whilst these figures show a reduction in the number of deaths by suicide over the research period, we will continue to work with universities and colleges, student representatives and all organisations involved in suicide prevention to ensure that all universities have plans in place to reduce suicide and to help make sure that students facing mental health crisis are effectively supported.

The OfS has published a range of resources to assist universities and colleges with their suicide prevention work. This includes guidance to universities and colleges on the steps they can take to support students who may be at risk of suicide and their whole student community.

See the latest ONS statistics See the OfS topic briefing for providers on suicide prevention

If you are affected by any issues relating to suicide and mental health, there are services that can help:

  • The Samaritans are open every day of the year, you can phone them for free on 116 123 or email  (response time: 24 hours)
  • SHOUT 85258 is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope
  • Mind, the mental health charity, offers support by phone at 0300 123 3393 or online
  • NHS mental health information and support.
Published 31 May 2022

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