INVESTIGATION work will be carried out after it was revealed Tendring and Colchester had some of the highest suicide rates in England.

Office for National Statistics data has shown Essex had a higher rate of suicides than the national average in 2019.

It also shows Tendring to have the second highest rate in England and Colchester the third.

Across England, there were 10.1 deaths per 100,000 people between 2017-19.

During the same period the rate was 18.8 deaths per 100,000 people in Tendring and 18.5 per 100,000 persons in Colchester.

Only Torbay in Devon had a higher rate.

A report prepared by Dr Mike Gogarty, Essex County Council’s director of wellbeing, public health and communities, said: “In the latest data, Essex has a higher rate of suicides than the national average and has had so since 2015.

“Suicide rates in Essex have risen steadily since 2015 and this gradual increase is also out of step with national trends, where levels were falling until a recent increase over the past 18 months.

“Several districts within Essex also have especially high rates.

“These rates are also higher than expected based on socio-economic ranking and these high rates are currently unexplained.”

At a meeting of Essex County Council’s health board yesterday members agreed to push for more work into suicides in the county.

It includes asking for real time data on deaths and analysis on the areas most affected.

The meeting heard Essex Coroner’s Service had recorded 66 deaths as suicides in 2020. Of these 49 were male and 17 female.

Ian Davidson, Tendring Council chief executive and board member, called for more analysis of the areas impacted.

He said: “If we can anaylse attempted suicides as well it may give us a better indication. “

The meeting also discussed the impact Covid-19 would have going forward.

The report added: “Currently we don’t collect real time data on suicides in Essex and, therefore, have no detailed understanding of the underlying patterns and features of suicides in Essex during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Paul Scott, chief executive of the Essex Partnership Trust, told the meeting it was seeing more young people seeking treatment for mental health during the pandemic.