Suicide body calls for drink awareness


A NATIONAL suicide research body has called on people to drink responsibly over the festive period.

Director of research at the National Suicide Research Foundation Dr Ella Arensman said people should be more careful about what they drink and how much they drink, following the publication of figures that indicate a link between alcohol consumption and self-harm.

“With the impending holidays, it is so important to make people aware that when they engage in binge-drinking, there is a possibility that some people may feel depressed,” said Dr Arensman.

“Many people only associate alcohol with fun, which is fine if you drink in moderation, but if you binge-drink there’s the risk of losing control and feeling depressed,” she said.

“This could increase the risk of people who feel vulnerable in current times – whether due to relationship problems or concerns about work – self-harming.”

Figures from the National Registry of Deliberate Self-Harm for 2010 indicate that alcohol was a factor in 41 per cent of all hospital-treated self-harm cases.

There were almost 12,000 presentations at emergency departments due to deliberate self-harm last year involving 9,630 individuals.

Anyone with concerns about self-harm should contact the Samaritans at 1850 609090 or Childline at 1800 666 666.