Thursday 23 November 2017

New anti-suicide strategy set to reduce the number of people taking their own lives

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People: Helen McEntee
Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People: Helen McEntee

Alan O'Keeffe

A new anti-suicide strategy will continue to be implemented in a bid to reduce the numbers of people taking their own lives.

New figures today revealed 487 people died by suicide in 2013.

The National Office for Suicide Prevention's 2015 Annual Report stated that four out of every five people to die by suicide were men.

"Suicide rates in Ireland saw significant changes over the past decade, with an increase in suicide rates between 2007 and 2011. However, data from 2012 onwards suggest a levelling-off in the rate of suicide," it stated.

Minister of State for Mental Health Helen McEntee said suicide prevention is everybody's concern. She said she welcomed the fact that the death rates had stabilised but "every death is one too many."

A Government strategy launched last year to reduce suicides will continue to be implemented with the aim of reaching its 10pc target for the reduction in suicide by 2020, she said.

The Health Service Executive said suicide rates among people under 25 are  "a significant concern."

Last year, more than 8,700 people were treated in hospital after incidences of self-harm.

Self-harm rates have stabilised but the rate is 9pc higher than in  2007.

The Central Statistics Office data includes deaths by suicide, but the National Office for Suicide Prevention stated  a proportion of deaths which are classified as undetermined are also suicides although it is not possible to estimate those figures.

The National Self-Harm Registry Ireland collects information on the numbers of people treated in hospital emergency departments as a result of self-harm.

Since 2004, more than 70,000 people have received free training in suicide prevention.  The HSE has increased the numbers of resource officers working on suicide prevention to 22.

If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact The Samaritans free helpline on 116 123.

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