Is Nadine Dorries callously misleading the British public to believe lockdown suicides have not increased.

Anecdotal evidence from numerous professionals including the Police and Ambulance services, had indicated that potential suicide rates had dramatically increased across the country, including among young people, because of lockdown. As a former Teacher leading a campaign alongside over a hundred families who’s children have been seriously harmed or lost to suicide as a result of bullying and violence in schools, our campaign lead Jason Barnett was very concerned to hear this.

We were extremely surprised when we first read the BBC Headline, that statistics show that there had been no such increase. Nadine Dorries, Minister for Health, Louis Appleby Government advisor on Suicide Prevention, The Samaritans and the BBC all supported this claim based on the Statistics. Given the expertise available, I believe it was no accident that the statistics have been used to mislead the public and sadly that will potentially limit concern and action to prevent further loss of life.

Nadine Dorries said on Twitter of the evidence they were relying on, “Every life lost to suicide, is a tragedy, however this data showing zero increase in suicide figures since lockdown should be reassuring to those who have been concerned regarding the mental health impact of lockdown she went on to tweet “I also hope it will now put an end to some of the irresponsible narrative some have been using around mental health and suicide. There is no tsunami, no cliff edge and no explosion in suicide figures. We are absolutely aware of those who have been impacted by the lockdown.”

Our first thought was that all of the professionals would be fully aware that it is literally impossible to get any relevant data to evidence these claims because of the normal delays in declaring a death a suicide.

The claim that suicide figures from January to March pre-lockdown were similar to figures post lockdown from April to August is misleading at best. Often a death has to be verified by a coroner at inquest as a suicide, which often might not take place till many months after a death. We know this from the experience of many of the families in our group and their stories on this site. There can be no relevant comparison of figures between the 2 periods as many possible suicides between April and August will not even have been registered yet and will be yet to be determined as suicides.

This is borne out in the report that Nadine points to in support of her claims in which Louis Appleby states “Currently the median time from the occurrence of a suicide to its registration is 166 days. This delay means that ONS figures cannot provide close monitoring of suicide in relation to the pandemic.”

That is again supported on the ONS statistics site which makes it clear that these figures are provisional and cannot be relied on for a number of reasons. One of the key points heading the data states “the lower number of deaths registered caused by suicide in quarter two of 2020 should be interpreted with caution this likely reflects delays to inquest caused by the impact of covid – 19 and the pandemic on the coroners service. “

So the question remains, has this data set been used to manipulate the British public into believing suicides have not increased post lockdown, knowing that they most likely have. Stating that no evidence of suicides increasing from this data set is disingenious in our eyes when you know full well that most of the evidence does not yet exist.

Nadine Dorries represents a Government who currently are literally holding the lives of the British Public in their hands through this pandemic and demanding the trust of us all to follow their rules to stay safe. Being part of a Government including a number of Ministers currently facing potential misconduct charges of having attempted to cover up the more than 20 suicides of children in our campaign group pre pandemic, these are issues that raise questions, that we should all be demanding answers to.

One Reply to “Is Nadine Dorries callously misleading the British public to believe lockdown suicides have not increased.”

  1. My son was flagged up by the school ICT safeguarding online system as ‘researching’ ways to take his own life and suicide ligatures & that was then a call from the high school for me in February 2020 week before lockdown to take him myself to A&E and request urgent CAHMS CRISIS support, we didn’t get the support because he hadn’t physically harmed or put himself in danger & got sent home, it wasn’t till another week later he was self-harming & back in A&E saw a child physiologist for emergency referral, that was another 2wks… this was all because of years of school’s ineptitude to dealing with bullying & a sexual assault in his lunchtime at School twice in one day!
    CAHMS didn’t get him support till late June & although lockdown took him away from bullies reach, mentally he got worse & he has sleeping & eating disorders now too. Recently got 1-2-1 counselling but since returning to school old & new bullies, physical assaults brutal , psychological abuse is his daily nightmare & they every time say they’ll sort it when he’s back in school.
    They reported the sexual assault to the police eventually, but the assailant wasn’t expelled from school, just moved class, 12months later they have become a ring-leader poisoning others in new form that go into my son’s classes with their exact same bullying behaviour , referring to the acts of assault in front of teachers even & literally assailants kept in the school have had time to groom others & created minions to act out further mental & physical torture my son through them.
    I have emailed & phoned, sent photos of injuries and been fobbed off with a jotter book for him to record incidents in?! I am in education professionally & this isn’t how it’s legally recorded & should be on CPOMS not carried information around by a pupil !
    I have requested a Formal complaint form to send for the board of governors, sent to the school end of October 2020 but have been completely ignored.
    Only good news is CAHMS are now sanctioning the high school to provide him with a Health Care Educational Plan which classically most parents of SEN children spend years trying to get put in place for too long!
    My son it literally under suicide watch & he’s only 13years old but this has been going on since starting high school for 3 years & has impacted his sibling, myself as his parent and all our family as he’s barely hanging in here his mental health has impacted his physical health & struggling to thrive as this could be effecting his major internal organs.
    My other child also suffered major assaults & head injury… numerous incidents & police involved, but they pass it back & forth nobody has an accountability or working legal system in schools so it gets swept under the carpet again and again. Adolescents get away with things that Adults would be sent to court prosecution & prison for!

    So this government can’t tell me anything. The are useless until they make consistent changes to our schools, these are young lives
    in the balance and their families living through sheer hell.

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