IRELAND RANKS FOURTH highest in the EU in terms of deaths by suicide amongst young people; that’s according to statistics released today by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.
In terms of 5 to 24 year olds, deaths by suicide were at 13.9 per 100,000 of the population in 2010 — the most recent year covered by data from the Central Statistics Office.
In total, there were 495 deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2010; 82 per cent of these were men, a ratio broadly in line with statistics for the last decade or so.
Looking at age groups — the highest suicide rate recorded was among 20- 24-year-old men, at 31.9 per 100,000. 42 per cent of those who died in 2010 were men under the age of 40.
According to the NOSP’s Annual Report for 2012:
Current data would suggest that the national suicide mortality rate has stabilised since 2009; however the rates amongst men aged 20-29 years, 40-49 years and women aged 50-59 years remain high and continue to be of public health, governmental and societal concern.
Considering the population as a whole, Ireland has the sixth lowest rate of death by suicide in the EU, compared with the lowest rate of 3.9 in Greece and the highest of 34.0 in Lithuania.
Commenting at the launch of today’s report, Minister Kathleen Lynch – who has responsibility for mental health services – said the problem demands a “very comprehensive and multi-layered response, with interventions at different levels, and involving a range of stakeholders”.
Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention Gerry Raleigh said that the organisation would “continue to coordinate and support the ongoing efforts being made in communities around the country to reduce suicide in Ireland”.