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The number of suicides has dropped by a quarter in the last year

There were 77 suicides registered in Ireland from January to March.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER OF deaths by suicide has fallen by 25% in the last 12 months, according to figures released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

In the first quarter (Q1) of 2014, between January and March, a total of 77 suicides were registered in Ireland.

This represents a decrease of 25% from the same period last year, when 103 suicides were registered.

Furthermore, there was a 49% drop since the last three months of 2013, when there were 150 recorded instances of people taking their own lives.

deathsbysuicide Source: CSO

In Q1 2014, suicide was most prevalent among 35-44 year-olds, with 20 deaths registered, followed by 25-34 year-olds, with 17.

Some 16 suicides were registered among 45-54 year-olds, nine among 55-64 year-olds, and seven in the 65-74 age group.

suicidesagegroup Source: CSO

In total, there were 475 suicides registered in Ireland last year – 396 (83%) by men, and 79 (17%) by women.

It should be noted that the figures for Q1 as well as the four quarters of 2013, are provisional.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Ciarán Austin, Director of Services at the suicide charity Console, gave a cautious welcome to the 25% drop in the last year, while emphasising that “every death by suicide is one too many.”

It is extremely encouraging to see such a downward trend, despite the fact that many deficits and challenges remain in our mental health and crisis intervention services.

Addressing the provisionality of the numbers, Austin said:

A modernised, real-time system for gathering suicide statistics would allow services, agencies and communities to respond more effectively to emerging suicide trends, clusters or contagion at very local levels.

Helplines 

  • Samaritans: 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • Console: 1800 247 247 (Suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • 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)

Read: Lynch – ‘We have to be careful about cases where we suspect suicide but there’s no evidence’>

Suicide rate amongst young people in Ireland fourth highest in EU>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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