Monday 20 November 2017

Suicide rates among women increased by more than 15pc in one year

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Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Female suicide rates have increased by more than 15pc in one year, according to a new report which has sparked a call to action to help those who are "struggling".

The new figures are contained in the Samaritan’s 2016 suicide statistics report, which shows the suicide rates of Irish men and women from 2013 to 2014.

The report shows that the suicide rate for men is continuing to fall, decreasing by 6pc in 2014.

Despite the rate decrease, however, men are still four times more likely to die by suicide than women.

In 2014, 459 people took their own lives, 368 men and 91 women.

Samaritans Executive Director for Ireland, Catherine Brogan, said: “We are naturally concerned. Each person who dies by suicide leaves behind family and friends whose lives will never be the same again. Every single suicide is a tragedy.”

The group with the highest suicide rates is the 50 to 54 age group, while women who take their own lives are more likely to be in the 25 to 29 age group.

The report shows there was an increase in the overall suicide rate in Ireland between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, but since then there has been a decline.

The overall suicide rate is at its lowest since 1993 and between 2013 and 2014 there was a decrease of over three per cent, according to the Samaritans.

The male suicide rate was the highest in 1998 but is currently at its lowest since 1993.

The female suicide rate has remained relatively stable over the past 30 years. The 2014 rate is comparable to the rate in 1984, having increased by 14.7pc since 2013.

“Tackling suicide requires a wide range of agencies to work together nationally and in communities, to give people the best chance to turn their lives around when they are struggling. Strong political oversight and leadership is required to ensure that the challenges we face in reducing suicide are overcome,” said Brogan.

Samaritans is calling on parties and elected representatives to make suicide reduction a priority by ensuring that Connecting for Life, the national strategy for suicide reduction is implemented and that ring-fenced funding for suicide reduction is maintained.

The Samaritans can be reached on Freephone 116 123 or via email to

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