The County Borough of Southend-on-Sea is a seaside town with an estimated population of 166,390 in 1965, approximately 24 per cent. of whom were over the age of 60, as compared with 17.8 per cent. of the total population of England and Wales, and 17.7 per cent. of the population of urban areas, outside the conurbations, with populations of 100,000 and over. As in other seaside towns of a similar character, the suicide rate is high: 181 per million population in 1965, as compared with 108 per million in England and Wales, and 120 per million in urban areas outside the conurbations with populations of 100,000 and over (Registrar-General, 1967). Of 237 (46.4 per cent.) consecutive suicides in Southend 111 were over the age of 60 at the time of death.