Wednesday 13 December 2017

Annual figures show 23pc fall in suicide among young people

Console are holding a suicide prevention training programme in Wexford
Console are holding a suicide prevention training programme in Wexford
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

Annual suicide figures report a 23pc fall in the number of suicides among young people, according to national suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console.

But, Ireland still has the fourth highest suicide rate in the EU among the 15-24 age group.

Console is now calling for a real-time register of suicide data so resources can be targeted to areas to prevent clustering.

 “The CSO’s provisional figures show 475 people died by suicide last year, a 6.3 per cent drop on the numbers in 2012, but that includes a significant decrease in the number of young people taking their own lives,” said Console’s Director of Services Ciaran Austin.

“The numbers of deaths by suicide in the 15-24 category were 57 in 2013, showing a drop of almost 23 per cent against the 2012 figure of 74.

“This continues a two-year trend which now shows a drop of 40 per cent against the 2011 figure of 95 deaths,” she continued.

“Console are calling for a real-time register of suicide data to be kept so that we can act on timely and accurate statistics to put measures in place to prevent such phenomena as suicide clustering or contagion.”

Despite the welcome fall in suicide among younger people, there is noted concern at a 25.58 per cent rise in suicides in the 45-54 age group, from 86 people in 2012 to 108 in 2013.

“The regional data in some areas is alarming in the CSO statistics with several counties recording rates of suicide well above the national average of 10.3 per 100,000 population,” Mr Austin said.

“These include Cavan with 20.4 deaths by suicide per 100,000, Carlow (20.0), Kerry (19.4), Roscommon (18.6) and Wexford (15.7).

“When we look at the official suicide figures, we also examine those categorised as ‘events of undetermined intent’, and they have shown a 21 per cent drop from 82 in 2012 to 65 in 2013.

"However, we need significant changes and investment in research as the lack of accurate up-to-date information is impeding our ability to understand and respond to the awful tragedy of suicide in a timely fashion.”

Nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide (Freephone 1800 247 247).

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