BOLTON has a higher suicide rate than England’s average and an “uncharacteristically high” rate for women.

The figures, released as part of a document which aims to plan how to reduce suicide rates in Bolton, shows that between 2008 and 2010, there were 102 suicides in the borough.

Deprivation, loneliness, depression and stress, relationship problems, drugs and alcohol, and unemployment are blamed for Bolton’s high suicide rates.

Jayne Wood, the suicide lead for Bolton Primary Care Trust and part of the Bolton Suicide Prevention Partnership, said they needed to educate different groups, including housing associations, GPs, the fire service and pharmacies about prevention.

She added: “It is about people recognising and responding to risk and knowing what to do. We want to people some evidence-based training and confidence and skills.”

The suicide figures are 12.9 per cent per 100,000 population and are higher than England.

They are also the third highest in the North West after Rossendale and Manchester.

Although lower than the 13.1 per cent registered for between 2007 and 2009, it is greater than all previous years.

The rate for women is 111 per cent higher than the rest of England.

Men account for 75 per cent of suicides nationally.

In Bolton this figure is 66 per cent, although the male rate in Bolton is 28 per cent higher than for the rest of the country.

Of Bolton’s 102 suicides, 68 were men, mainly aged between 20 to 59, and 34 were women, mainly aged between 30 and 39.

The document, currently under consultation with stakeholders, is called “The strategic framework of evidence based recommendations for preventing suicides in Bolton (2013-16)”.

Ms Wood said: “Each organisation has their own action plan. It is all about identifying and responding to suicide risk to prevent the act.

She used records from Bolton Coroner’s Court to compile data on suicides in the borough and said suicide was very “impulsive” and is rarely due to one cause.

Almost 70 per cent of women who committed suicide had been given a mental health diagnosis.

According to data in Bolton’s Suicide Prevention Partnership Annual Report 2012, the greatest numbers of suicide incident call-outs were made to Halliwell ward, with almost 100 more than Farnworth, which has the third greatest number and is the largest ward in Bolton.

More affluent wards, such as Bradshaw and Bromley Cross had a low number of call outs.

If you need to talk to someone about suicide, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or email