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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 21 May, 2019

Over 2,700 people sought help from Pieta House last year

Figures show that nearly 1,000 of those who contacted the suicide and self-harm crisis centre were aged between 25 and 44.

Image: Woman on a bench via Shutterstock

NEARLY 600 PEOPLE under the age of 18 sought help from the suicide and self-harm crisis centre Pieta House last year, according to new figures out today.

Figures show an overall 42 per cent increase in the number of people seeking help from Pieta House last year with 2,736 clients contacting the charity, up from 1,923 in 2011.

Figures show that nearly 596 people under the age of 18 sought help from Pieta House last year with 29 people over the age of 65 getting in touch. The vast majority of Pieta House’s clients came from the 25-44 age group with 951 people contacting them.

Most referrals came from family with 36 per cent of clients last year being referred by a family member. S

Self-referral to the organisation accounted for 34 per cent with other referrers being doctors, schools or colleges, friends, mental health services, and other agencies.

Pieta House was established in 2006 by psychologist Joan Freeman and offers help to those who are at risk of suicide or self-harm.

It has four centres throughout Dublin and one in Limerick with four new centres set to open this year in Tuam, Roscrea, Cork and Castleisland.

The increase in numbers for last year is a trend which founder Joan Freeman said was “reassuring” in that more and more people are prepared to ask for help.

“However, the increased demand is putting huge pressure on our service and that’s why I’m urging everyone around the country to sign up for Darkness into Light,” she added.

Darkness into Light is an annual event that the charity holds in association with Electric Ireland where thousands of people gather at locations around the country at 4am and run or walk a 5 kilometre route as dawn is breaking.

More than 15,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s event on Saturday at 20 locations around the country. To find out about an event near you, click here.

Read: Suicide rate among middle-aged Americans rose by 28 per cent in 10 years

Read: Suicide resource centre opens in Tralee

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Hugh O'Connell

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