There are between 4000 and 5000 suicides in England and Wales per year; this is about 10 per 100 000 population, and around 1 per cent of all deaths. Official statistics have tended to underestimate the true rate because only cases with proven evidence of intent, such as a suicide note, were given suicide verdicts by the coroner. Some deaths given 'accident' or 'undetermined' verdicts in the past were probably suicides. However, coroners may have become more ready to give suicide verdicts in recent years when the evidence points in that direction.

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