Sunday 20 October 2019

Child sex abuse linked to suicide

Official figures show 486 people died by suicide last year
Official figures show 486 people died by suicide last year

Press Association

Calls have been made for a national study to examine the link between childhood sex abuse and suicide.

Suicide prevention helpline 1Life said more than a quarter of crisis calls this year were from adults who suffered attacks as a youngster.

And a group for survivors of abuse also revealed two people on its waiting list died by suicide over the last 18 months.

Ciaran Austin, director of services with Console which runs 1Life, raised concerns over the hike in calls following the publication of sickening clerical abuse reports, including the recent Cloyne Report.

"I want to see an audit between suicide and child abuse because we feel, anecdotally, there is a huge link between that and people who are in crisis or self harming," he said.

"But there has been no study to pinpoint it. When people present high risk it could be a reaction to two to three key life events or losses in their life. There is something underlying."

Official figures show 486 people died by suicide in 2010 - including 104 in the first three months of the year. The figure dropped to 85 in the first three months of 2011.

However 1Life receives about 3,000 crisis calls a month from people on the verge of suicide and in desperate need of urgent support.

Approximately four out of ten callers have alcohol or drug addictions, either in the present or past, with 40% suffering from a mental health problem, such as depression. Some 21% suffered childhood sexual abuse or violence and 15% are unemployed and face financial stress.

Mr Austin said several of those issues also overlap for many callers to its freephone 24 hour helpline on 1800 247 100 (or who text the word HELP to 51444). Survivors of childhood abuse can also call Connect on freephone 1800 477 477 or the Samaritans on 1850 60 90 90.

PA Media

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