City of London
Three people have killed themselves in the City of London in recent months. (Reuters)

"If someone commits suicide they are at a low ebb but they might also be incredibly angry, hurt, let down and feeling such a failure and can't articulate it," said Dr Lynne Jordan, a Chartered Psychologist at the British Psychological Society who specialises in relationships and trauma.

In Hong Kong, the most common method of suicide is jumping from a height, statistics from HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention show.

However, it is a relatively new development in the UK. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 74 per cent of all suicides in England and Wales in 2010 were completed by either hanging or poisoning.

But in the last two months, three people suspected of taking their own lives in the City of London died by jumping from tall buildings. Nico Lambrechts, 45, Rema Begum, 29, and Kevan Ward, 46, all died in the Square Mile, leaving grieving families and colleagues.

Jordan said: "Obviously this is all assumption, rather than knowledge of the individual cases, but that kind of thing sounds like they're making a statement and wanting to make a statement to something to do with work. So I suspect there's a certain amount of anger involved towards work and that's why people chose to do it there. But of course I don't know that exactly."

It is estimated that five percent of people will attempt a suicide at least once in their lives, while 10 to 14 percent will have suicidal thoughts at some point.

"In other forms people might start to self-harm and act out in other ways," she said. "Suicide would be the optimum of how people act out something that can't be spoken of, or something they feel there is no point speaking of, because nobody would understand.

"Sometimes people are unaware even of what they really feel so they don't feel able to talk about it, they just know that it all feels very hopeless and they get to that stage.

"Obviously it's [jumping] a very violent death, it causes a lot of distress to other people. But when someone feels suicidal they're not thinking like that. They just know they need to destroy themselves."

Samaritans has said it has seen an increase in the number of calls it received in 2011, rising from 2.3 million to 2.4 million.

In September, research commissioned by the charity found that 3,000 middle-aged men committed suicide every year. The report, Men and Suicide: Why it's a social issue, said: "Men compare themselves against a 'gold standard' which prizes power, control and invincibility.

"When they believe they aren't meeting this standard they feel a sense of shame, which can lead them to have suicidal thoughts."

A spokesperson for the charity also pointed out that the recession has had a significant impact suicide rates. "There is considerable research evidence that economic recession is linked to higher suicide rates. During the last recession in 2008, there was a sharp rise in suicides which bucked the overall downward trend.

"As the UK economy remains in danger of slipping back into recession, we all need to remain vigilant for the signs of distress and suicidal intent.

"Unemployment, job fears and financial worries lead to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness, which in turn increase the likelihood that someone will think that their life isn't worth living."

As well as social issues, mental health problems, such as depression, are major risk-factors in suicides. In Western countries, around 90 percent of people who kill themselves have a mental disorder.

While individual reasons for taking one's own life cannot be determined, the location for suicides appears to have meaning.

Jordan said: "It is significant in whether people sit quietly at home and drink a bottle of whisky and take tablets, or whether they hang themselves or slit their wrists - it is symbolic.

"With jumping from tall buildings, in my mind, it symbolises needing to get on top of things - so they get on top of the building and they when they get to the top they can't cope and down they come.

"Of course that's not rational thought, that's to do with instinct. People operate on instinct and they want to know at that stage that they can't be found, that they can't recover. There is something very definitive about that."

Jordan noted that there is a myth that people who talk about committing suicide do not go through with it. This is not true. The Samaritans say people who kill themselves have often told someone that life is not worth living. In some cases they actually say they want to die.

It is also known that people who have attempted suicide are considerably more likely to eventually die by taking their own lives than the rest of the population.

Samaritans points to a number of signs that suggest people may need help. These include; irritability, nervousness, a change in routine, drinking or smoking more, clumsiness, being withdrawn, losing interest in their appearance and making negative statements.

Speaking about the impact of the recession, the Samaritans' spokesperson added: "A survey of Samaritans' helpline in December 2011 showed that calls about financial issues have doubled in the last three years. Now, one in every five calls made to Samaritans is about job concerns, housing problems, debt and other financial worries."

Jordan said that financial concerns go on to cause problems in relationships. "It's not just about people working long silly hours and still not getting their needs met in their practical financial terms. Their relationships break down because they're not spending enough quality time together or it's become destructive because of the pressure.

"When people are under pressure and stress they tend to take it out on those closest to them, so that's obviously a lot to do with it. There might be a trigger point at work but a lot of it is around relationships. It's all inter-related."

Concluding, the Samaritans' spokesperson said: "Every suicide is a tragedy and that's why Samaritans' trained volunteers are available 24/7 to offer confidential support to anyone struggling to cope or feeling suicidal. We believe that talking about your situation can help alleviate despair. If you are distressed and want to talk about how you are feeling, call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90, email or find the details for the local branch at"