How many people have died from suicide because of social distancing related to COVID-19?

Reverend Croad (Account suspended) made this Freedom of Information request to Public Health England

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Public Health England did not have the information requested.

Reverend Croad (Account suspended)

Dear Public Health England,

As you will be aware, isolating those with mental health issues, and even a number of those without existing mental health issues, from their friends and families causes deterioration in mental health and can lead to suicide. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we know the answer to the following question:

How many people in the UK have died from suicide as an apparent result of COVID-19 social distancing? For the purposes of this question, 'apparent' refers to any case where a friend, family member, or any other person states that the suicide was because of isolation triggered by social distancing.

Yours faithfully,

Reverend Croad

FOI, Public Health England

Dear Reverend Croad,

We acknowledge receipt of your email and request for information, which will be treated as a request for information under statutory access legislation.

Please note that requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) will receive a response within 20 working days from the day following the date of receipt of your request.

If the request is for your personal data, your request has been handled as a data subject access request (SAR) under Article 15 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then we will respond  within one month of the receipt of the request.

Public Health England (PHE) is responsible for providing guidance and advice to government and front-line services for all aspects of public health.  It is a designated Category 1 responder organisation under the Civil Contingency Act and this specifically includes the COVID-19 response, providing clinical expertise and wider public health advice and guidance across national and local government, the NHS and third sector.  As such, you may experience delays when making statutory information access requests during the pandemic.

We will aim to address all requests promptly and within the required response timeframes.  However when we are unable to meet the response timeframe we will keep requesters updated on a revised expected timescale for a response to their request. The Information Commissioner recognises this position in its recent guidance, see link: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/dat...

Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920 
www.gov.uk/phe   Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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FOI, Public Health England

1 Attachment

OFFICIAL
Dear Reverend Croad

Please find attached Public Health England's response to your request.

Kind regards,

FOI Team
Public Accountability Unit
Public Health England
[Public Health England request email]
Tel: 020 8327 6920
www.gov.uk/phe Follow us on Twitter @PHE uk

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Reverend Croad (Account suspended)

Dear FOI,

I must say, I am astounded. Considering the extreme importance of considering the effects of social distancing, it seems to be a dereliction of duties not to hold this information. Could you please direct me as to where I may be able to find such information and whether you have any plans to begin recording this information as a matter of urgency?

Yours sincerely,

Reverend Croad