Duke of Cambridge
Prince William speaks at the launch of a coalition taskforce to tackle male suicides Getty Images

Suicides in England and Wales reached a 20-year high in 2015, with around 3,899 rulings of suicide recorded in coroners' courts, data from the Ministry of Justice revealed. The data also showed that suicides among women rose sharply last year compared to men.

Among men, the number of suicides fell by 23 to 2,997 in 2015, compared to 2014. While the number of women suicides rose by 70 to 902 in the year-over-year period, The Guardian reported.

Charity group Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) claims that suicide is the biggest reason for deaths among men under the age of 45 in the UK. To deal with the issue, the charity launched a coalition of Samaritans and frontline services from land, sea and air — including National Rail, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Highways England, British Transport Police and the National Police Chiefs' Council, Chief Fire Officers Association and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives.

Duke of Cambridge Prince William was present at the launch of the coalition. He reportedly welcomed the move and shared his own experience as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. "My first job was actually at a suicide. I realised then, really starkly, how big a problem we have in this country and globally," William was quoted by the UK daily as saying. "My plea really is to get more men talking about their issues before it's too late and to stop feeling so strong and unable to seek help, because it can destroy families, it can destroy lives."

The charity reportedly said the actual figures of suicides could be higher than what is shown in the ministry data because deaths in single-vehicle car crashes are not recorded as suicides, which could, in reality, be suicide cases. "Suicide is frequently bracketed as the actions of the 'mentally ill'. However, from our helpline we know that men who are suicidal are often tackling the kinds of life problems which can affect any of us, male or female, although it's damned hard for men to admit to needing help or even find it," CALM CEO Jane Powell said.

The fewest suicides were recorded in 2007, with 3,007 such verdicts, while 2008 — the year of the financial crisis — saw the highest number of suicide cases among both men and women. The total number of suicides among men was 3,305 in 2008, compared to 2,348 in 2007; and the figure for women was 745, compared to 659.

The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone in the UK and Republic of Ireland. It can be contacted via Samaritans.orgor by calling 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please contact a free support service at Mind.org.uk or call 0300 123 3393. Call charges apply.