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Canada

572 British Columbians died by suicide in 2017, including 22 youth

The BC Coroners Service has released its updated report on suicides in the province between 2007 and 2017.

The report shows that 572 British Columbians took their own life in 2017, down slightly from 603 in 2016, 615 in 2015, and 644 in 2014.

Most were men and more than half were aged 30 to 59. Twenty-two youths under 19 years old died by suicide in 2017, up from 20 the year previous.

The coroner report shows the highest age-specific suicide death rate was among 40 to 49 year olds in 2017, and the three most common means of suicide were by hanging, followed by poisoning, fire arms and falls. The number of SkyTrain suicides went up to four from three in 2016, while railway suicides in 2017 fell to four from six the year before. The number of CO poisonings also fell to 13 from 20 the year before, while the cause of 42 suicides was still under investigation.

The Fraser and Interior Health Authority had the highest number of suicide s in 2017, with deaths with 157 and 130 deaths, respectively. The Northern Health Authority had the highest rate of suicide deaths at 18 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Overall, the rate of suicide deaths in B.C. was 12 deaths per 100,000 individuals.

Suicide rates are highest in Northeast, Kootenay Boundary, Thompson Cariboo, East Kootenay, and Northern Interior Health Services Delivery Areas, according to the report.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

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