A COMMITTEE has been told that there has not been a major upsurge in the number of suicides during the Covid pandemic.

Members of Bradford Council's Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee had previously raised concerns that lockdown, and enforced isolation, could lead to a major rise in suicides.

At its most recent meeting members were told that, like nationally, there was currently no evidence that this had been the case.

Duncan Cooper, public health consultant, said: "There hasn't been a national upsurge in suicides reported - we had been following this as it was something we were really worried about.

"We have to be careful about attributing every suicide we do record, because we do get suicides regularly recorded in Bradford, to Covid.

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"Covid has made some things worse, economic adversity has made things much more difficult for some families. But it is the same things that lead to suicide that we've seen before.

"The rates are still four or five times higher for men, and we're still seeing issues within the Eastern European population and the LGBT community , and a lot of work we've done this year have been with these groups."

He told members this included work with the Cellar Trust to provide mental health training to help people better support people with suicidal thoughts.

A recent study from the University of Manchester found that there had been no evidence of a major rise in suicide rates in the period following the first lockdown - something many people had feared.