[...] Edward’s suicide was one of 6,188 recorded in the U.K. in 2015, an average of almost 17 a day, or two every three hours. In the U.K., suicide is the leading cause of death among women under 35 and men under 50. The World Health Organization estimates that 788,000 people died by suicide globally in 2015. Somewhere in the world, someone takes their life every 40 seconds. And despite advances in science and a growing political and popular focus on mental health, recorded suicides in the U.K. have declined only slightly over the past few decades, from 14.7 per 100,000 people 36 years ago to 10.9 in 2015.
A simple belief drives Mallen: that Edward should still be alive, that his death was preventable—at several stages during the rapid onset of his depression. Moreover, Mallen and a growing number of mental health experts believe that this applies to all deaths by suicide. They argue that with a well-funded, better-coordinated strategy that would reform attitudes and approaches in almost every function of society—from schools and hospitals to police stations and the family home—it might be possible to prevent every suicide, or at least to aspire to.