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Irish suicide rate “stabilised” since end of recession

The HSE adds that the report also “suggests a decreasing trend” in the suicide rate.

“There was an increase in the suicide rate in Ireland between 2007 and 2012 which can be wholly attributed to an increase in the male rate of suicide,” said the HSE’s National Director for Mental Health Ms Anne O’Connor.

“Data from 2012 onwards indicates a levelling-off of this rise. Provisional data for 2015 and 2016 suggests a decreasing trend in Ireland’s suicide rate.”

The NOSP report shows that in 2014 there were 486 confirmed suicide deaths in Ireland (there were 487 deaths in 2013). The majority, 399 (82.1 per cent) of these, were men. This high male to female ratio has been a consistent feature of deaths by suicide over the years.

The highest rates of suicide were observed among 45-54 year-olds (28.2 per 100,000 and 6.9 per 100,000, respectively). The lowest rates of suicide were recorded among those aged 65 years and over.

In 2016, the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland, which is funded by the HSE NOSP, recorded 11,485 presentations to hospital due to self-harm nationally, involving 8,909 individuals. This is in-line with 2015 figures.

According to the HSE funding of more than €11.8 million was invested in suicide prevention last year.

In response to the figures Mr Derek McDonnell Programme Director of Mojo, a men’s health and wellbeing training programme, said that there “is a need for further focus on men’s overall wellbeing and programmes”.

“As is the trend, male suicide rates are the highest by far with particular high percentages with men aged 45-54, that is why our programmes are aimed at reducing the high levels of male suicide rates in Ireland,” said Mr McDonnell.

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