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1,000 children asked for help over self-harm

PIETA House dealt with more than 1,000 cases of self-harm and suicidal distress in under-18s last year.

The organisation offered assistance to 3,919 people at six of its centres, with a breakdown of 2,222 women and 1,697 men, according to a newly published report.

New figures show that 1,016 people under the age of 18 were seen at the six centres – 509 at Lucan, 156 at Ballyfermot, 81 at Tallaght, 103 at Finglas, 138 at Limerick and 29 at Roscrea.

Pieta House offers help and support to people who are feeling suicidal and people who have been considering or engaging in self-harming.

The 2013 end-of-year report examines the work done at four Pieta House centres in Dublin – Lucan, Ballyfermot, Finglas and Tallaght – and Limerick and Roscrea.

A breakdown of other age groups reveals that 877 were aged between 18 and 24, 1,307 between 25 and 44, 664 between 45 and 64 and 55 were aged 65 and up.

Of the 1,803 cases presenting at the Lucan centre, 492 had suicidal thoughts, 304 had made a suicide attempt or had suicidal thoughts, and 124 had engaged in deliberate self-harm.

FUNDRAISING

Of the 3,919 people seen at the six centres in 2013, 1,054 had suicidal thoughts, 722 had suicidal thoughts or had made a suicide attempt and 483 had presented with suicidal thoughts and deliberate self-harm.

It is eight years since Pieta House first opened its doors in Lucan.

As 90pc of its income comes from fundraising events, the organisation relies heavily on the support and encouragement of its volunteers.

The charity provides a free, therapeutic approach and help to people who seek its assistance.

Its waiting time is rarely more than a week, though it does have some particularly busy periods.

It has two emergency appointments each day for people who are actively suicidal. There is no waiting list for anyone in acute crisis.

People in need of support can pick up the phone and arrange an appointment for themselves.

Alternatively, someone else can make an appointment for the person in need of assistance.

fdillon@herald.ie


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