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Fears that deaths by suicide rose over Christmas period

Calls to Console’s helpline rose by one third over the festive season.

Image: man with phone image via Shutterstock

CALLS TO CONSOLE’S free suicide helpline rose by one third over the Christmas period, with an average of 165 calls per day.

Almost 4,000 people called the charity’s helpline in December 2014. Revealing the information today, the charity said it fears figures will also show an increase in people dying through suicide throughout the country over the year’s Christmas period.

“There was a notable increase in calls following deaths by suicide nationwide, combined with very high-risk, low-risk and moderate-risk calls from people in suicidal crisis,” commented Console founder and CEO Paul Kelly.

The Christmas period tends to be a very difficult time for some people who can feel very lonely and isolated, and this, combined with their own personal circumstances can lead some people to be very vulnerable at this time. Although a joyful time for many, Christmas can tend to magnify life’s pressures for people who may be vulnerable emotionally or psychologically. These pressures might be added financial worries, or perhaps it is the first Christmas since a significant event such as a death or a divorce.

“We took a lot of calls from people who felt the added pressure of disconnection from family and society, which can often lead to despair,” Kelly added.

However Console said the fact that there was an increase in calls means their message is getting through.

Anyone wishing to contact Console can do so on 1800 247 247.

Other helpines include:

  • Aware 1890 303 302 (depression anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie - (suicide, self-harm, bereavement)

  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)

  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

Read: ‘Finally, I have an appointment with a psychologist… 294 days after being discharged from the hospital’>

Column: Is suicide a preventable cause of death?>

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