I saw a bunch of journalists defending their coverage yesterday, usual dissembling about how it is really the fault of everyone else, and how it is a real story because:
"Latest statistics available from the Office for National Statistics show that there were three suicides in 2004-2005 in the Bridgend area for those aged between 15 and 30, and three in 2006."But according to the Guardian:
"The sad fact is that 16 suicides among young people in Bridgend in 12 months is no worse than usual. There were 13 suicides by young people in 2007, and 21 in total. In 2006 the total was 28."It looks like the former figures come from:
"A briefing document prepared last month for Bridgend Local Health Board (LHB) by the National Public Health Service for Wales...“Three LHBs have rates of suicide among males aged 15-24 that exceed the Welsh average to a level considered statistically significant. These are Denbighshire, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend. Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot show the highest levels with an average of three cases of suicide among males of this age per year (1996-2006) in each area. They were lowest in Ceredigion with an average of one case per year.”"So what is it, 3 for 15-30s in 2006, or 28? According to this:
"Four years ago, I began noticing a cluster of suicides of young males. It reached a peak in 2006 when 17 young people in the Bridgend constituency and four in Ogmore took their own lives - that makes a total of 21 in Bridgend. As the press has highlighted many times in recent weeks, a similar number of suicides occurred last year."But looking at the national Public Health Service for Wales briefing document, we see that the 15-24 2004-2006 rate is 2 deaths/year.
I'm not sure what is going on here - anyone got any ideas? My first instinct was a difference in geographical areas as Philip Irwin in the Guardian suggests, but it doesn't seem to be that judging from the National Public Health Service figures. My next guess is that it depends on what you define as 'young', Irwin says "Men aged 16-35 are most at risk" and Bridgend's figures for 2004-2006 are an average of 16 over 15s a year, perhaps those missing 'young people' are in that 25-35 age bracket (a peak age group for suicide).