Young and middle-aged men still dominate suicide stats
Latest official figures show slight fall-off in suicide and self-harm rates
Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health Kathleen said deaths by suicide were a concern to everyone. Photograph: Eric Luke/Irish Times
Young and middle-aged men remain most at risk from suicide in Ireland, the latest official figures show.
The National Office for Suicide Prevention’s annual report indicates 495 people took their own lives in 2010, of which over 80 per cent were men.
While the figure was lower than the previous two years, it remains higher than those recorded in the years prior to the economic recession.
“The latest confirmed figures for suicide by the Central Statistics Office for 2010 indicate that suicide rates in Ireland may be stabilising,” director of research at the National Suicide Research Foundation (NSRF), Professor Ella Arensman, said.
However, she cautioned that the decrease in suicides coincided with an increase in deaths of “undetermined intent” which may have included “hidden cases of suicides”.
The report was one of three major reports on suicide and self-harm released today by the HSE.
The annual report of the National Registry of Deliberate Self-Harm’s revealed there were 12,010 incidents of self-harm recorded in emergency departments last year, representing a 2 per cent decrease on the previous year.
However, the self-harm rate were still 12 per cent higher than that recorded prior the downturn.
According to the registry, women aged in their late teens and men in their early 20s were most likely to hurt themselves.
The most common method used in self-harm, accounting for 69 per cent of all cases, involved an overdose of medication, with women being overrepresented, the report.
A separate report by the Suicide Support and Information System (SSIS) recorded incidences of two suicide death clusters in 2011 in Co Cork, with 13 in one 23km radius over three months, and seven over two months in a 28km area.
Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health Kathleen said deaths by suicide were a concern to everyone.
“We have all been made aware of suicide a some stage in our lives, whether it was a family member, friend or a member of our community,” she said.
“The challenge of reducing suicide rates demands a very comprehensive and multi-layered response, with interventions at different levels and involving a range of stakeholders.”