Last year, I published a chart of the number of suicides in the Isle of Man, to put the 2020 increase in suicides in context to recent years. Here is a new update which includes data from 2021 which was reported by Manx Radio this week.

Some notes on this chart:

  • Manx Radio reported that the 2020 figures were “revealed in a Freedom of Information request submitted by Manx Radio”. It is extraordinary that a news outlet needs to submit a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to obtain these records: a mature society and responsible Government would publish such data proactively without waiting for an organisation to use the FOI system to extract the records.
  • There are conflicting reports on the number of suicides for various years. Part of the conflict may be due to different definitions. Primary sources used here are a Tynwald report and media reports. You can see the sources detailed here. If anyone has any better information, please do let me know!
  • The reported surge for 2020 is more than 4 standard deviations from the previous mean, so it is certainly statistically significant (it is not just random noise).
  • An undated statement from Public Health IOM in late 2020 or early 2021 confirmed a surge in local suicides during the 2020 calendar year: “There has been a large increase in suspected suicides in recent months above the baseline of previous years.
  • The number of suicides to happen in 2021 was marginally above the pre-2020 mean, but well within ordinary expectations.

If you, or someone you know, is at risk of suicide, please call Samaritans here on the Isle of Man. Their phone number is 116 123 (tap to call; free from any phone) and they have a branch at 5 Victoria Place, Douglas.

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Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.