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Mental Health

Over 11,000 people ended up in hospital last year after self-harming

Ireland has the 4th highest rate of suicide among 15-19 year olds in the EU.

SOME 11,061 PEOPLE were admitted to hospital last year as a result of self harm.

The figure represents a 6% decrease on 2012.

That’s one of the findings from the National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm’s 12th annual report, which was published today.

Six in ten of these patients were assessed by a member of the mental health team in hospital, and almost 70% of patients who were discharged were provided with a referral.

40% of the young men who had self-harmed had been drinking alcohol, compared to 34% of young women.

Presentations peaked in the hours around midnight and one third of all presentations occurred on Sundays and Mondays. The Registry also identified an increased number of self-harm presentations around public holidays.

Ireland ranks 4th highest in the EU for deaths by suicide for 15-19 year olds, at 10.5 per 100,000.

Overall, we have the 11th lowest rate of death by suicide in the Union (10.9 per 100,000), compared with the lowest rate of 3.3 in Greece and the highest of 32 in Lithuania.

Mental Wellbeing

Professor Ivan Perry, the Registry’s Director, said that self-harm is “an important barometer of the mental wellbeing of a community”.

The rates of self-harm vary markedly and consistently in different parts of the country and are connected with deprivation and social exclusion. We need to continue to ask what we can do to tackle the root causes of these inequalities, most of which originate in early childhood.

Professor Ella Arensman, Director of Research at the National Suicide Research Foundation, said that the information provided by the Registry has made “a significant contribution to service planning” and will influence the National Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention in Ireland, 2015-2019.

National Office for Suicide Prevention

Also today, Kathleen Lynch, the junior minister with responsibility for mental health, launched the National Office for Suicide Prevention’s (NOSP) 2013 Annual Report.

Last year NOSP provided funding of €4,947,861 to 31 NGOs that aim to promote positive mental health and reduce self harm and suicide.

NOSP’s Director, Gerry Raleigh, said that the body’s main focus in 2013 “concentrated on building capacity within services and the community to support people experiencing emotional distress and who are vulnerable to suicide”.

“There are three elements to this approach: supporting people to seek help; aiming to ensure that the appropriate help is available when required; and supporting communities across the country,” Raleigh stated.

In 2013, the office delivered mental health promotion programmes to schools, colleges, workplaces and prisons. It also worked with GPs to develop the ‘Suicide Prevention in General Practice’ education programme.


Samaritans 116 123 or email

Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634

Console 1800 201 890

Aware 1890 303 302

Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email

Childline 1800 66 66 66

Read: Teen death sparks calls for schools to start teaching children about their mental health

Read: Conor Cusack to talk about sport, suicide, and how ‘it’s not always about winning’

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