Thursday 22 February 2018

Almost 9,500 hospitalised after attempting suicide last year

Ed Carty

ALMOST 9,500 people were treated in hospital last year after attempting to take their own lives.

New figures reveal 12,010 incidents of self-harm were recorded in emergency departments, with many distressed men and women being rushed in several times.

Women aged in their late teens and men in their early 20s were most likely to hurt themselves, according to the National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm Ireland.

Most recent official figures show there were 495 deaths by suicide in 2010, including 405 men.

Kathleen Lynch, junior health minister, said deaths by suicide were a concern to everyone.

"We have all been made aware of suicide a some stage in our lives, whether it was a family member, friend or a member of our community," she said.

"The challenge of reducing suicide rates demands a very comprehensive and multi-layered response, with interventions at different levels and involving a range of stakeholders."

The minister was speaking as she released three reports on suicide and self-harm at the Department of Health ahead of World Suicide Day on September 10.

They showed cases of self-harm had dropped by 2% since 2011, but were still 12% higher than 2007 before the recession.

Professor Ella Arensman, director of research at the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF), said it is not acceptable that there is a two- to three-year delay in getting official rates, while many more suspected suicides go undetermined and open verdicts are recorded.

"The latest confirmed figures for suicide by the CSO for 2010 indicate that suicide rates in Ireland may be stabilising," she said.

"The highest suicide rates continue to be among young and middle-aged men."

Her report of the Suicide Support and Information System (SSIS) recorded two clusters of deaths by suicide in 2011 in Co Cork, with 13 in one 23km radius over three months and seven over two months in a 28km area.

* For anyone affected by this report, the Samaritans can be contacted on 1850 609090

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