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FFT launch pioneering study to understand death by suicide in Gypsy and Traveller communities

Today, on 10th September and World Suicide Prevention Day, Friends, Families and Travellers are launching an innovative study which seeks to build a greater understand on rates and risk factors for suicide in Gypsy and Traveller communities. We are asking for your help to understand rates of suicide and contributing factors among Gypsy and Traveller people so we can ask the Government to do more to ensure Gypsies and Travellers have access to the support they need.

Official data shows that Irish Traveller people living in Ireland are six times as likely to die by suicide than members of the general population. We believe that the figures in England, Scotland and Wales are similar and that the Government can and should be taking action to address this.

Data on deaths by suicide in Gypsy and Traveller communities is not collected in England, Scotland and Wales and this means the Government know little about how suicide impacts Gypsy and Traveller people. Without data, it is difficult to make the case that there should be more support for Gypsy and Traveller people who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts.

We are asking people who know a Gypsy or Traveller person who has died by suicide to share their details with us so we can build an evidence base of those people who have died by suicide from Gypsy and Traveller communities. You can take part in the study here. 

Speaking about the new study, Emma Bray, Health Promotion Officer at Friends, Families and Travellers shared:

“It not uncommon to know someone who had died by suicide but we know for Irish Traveller’s in Ireland, you’re 6 times more likely to experience the loss of a loved one, or be affected by suicide. We need to know if these numbers are similar in the UK so we can make sure support is in place for Gypsies and Travellers. This work is well overdue and needed now more than ever.”


Reflecting on the study, Josie Garrett, Policy Coordinator at Friends, Families and Travellers said:

“We know that talking about suicide can be extremely difficult, but by talking about it, we can start to make things better. We are asking anyone who knows a Gypsy or Traveller to have died by suicide to complete our survey. With your help, we can call for better and more accessible mental health services for Gypsy and Traveller people.”

About Friends, Families and Travellers (FFT)

Friends, Families and Travellers is a leading national charity that works to end racism and discrimination against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people and to protect the right to pursue a nomadic way of life.

Media Contact

Lucy Hetherington, Communications Officer

Tel: 07425 419853 Email: [email protected]

Relevant Resources

Do you know a Gypsy or Traveller person who has died by suicide? Take our survey.

Are you looking for support with your mental health? See our Mental health services information page.

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