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HSE project examining issue of suicide in CHO 1

By Catherine Reilly - 27th Aug 2023

CHO 1

The HSE has initiated a project to “improve understanding” of any risk or contributing factors to suicidal behaviour in the population of Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) 1, which comprises of counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, and Sligo.

The National Office for Suicide Prevention calculates three-year moving average rates of suicide by county of residence based on CSO figures. For 2020-2022, the highest rates nationally per 100,000 people were in Cavan (16.9), Sligo (16), and Monaghan (15.5). The average national rate was 8.4. These are crude rates per 100,000 population and have been calculated excluding late registered deaths.

According to the HSE, the project in CHO 1 involves the identification of two or more communities to participate in a multiple case study analysis. This analysis will focus on how the communities experience and respond to suicidal behaviour (including suicide attempt, self-harm, and suicidal ideation).

The project aims to provide recommendations to inform the implementation of the local area suicide prevention action plan and the development of a community response plan in CHO 1 for cases of suspected suicide in the region.

“This research is underway in counties Sligo and Donegal, where ethical approval was obtained in October 2022 and February 2023, respectively. Research in Cavan has not yet obtained ethical approval, but it is expected that this will be approved by September 2023 and the research will be completed by February 2024,” commented a HSE spokesperson.

The research will culminate in the development of a final report, which will provide a summary of the factors associated with a greater risk of suicide in CHO 1. The project is being undertaken by S3 Solutions on behalf of the HSE.

Under the first phase of the Connecting for Life national suicide prevention strategy, from 2015 to 2020, three action plans were developed and implemented across CHO 1; Cavan/Monaghan, Donegal, and Sligo/Leitrim.

In 2021, the decision was taken to develop a single CHO-wide action plan and to streamline the implementation of Connecting for Life across the CHO.

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