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Mental Health

New figures show young men are at greatest risk of suicide in Ireland

The total number of deaths by suicide for 2015 were 451.

shutterstock_316774580 Shutterstock / Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz Shutterstock / Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz / Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz

FIGURES RELEASED BY a suicide prevention organisation have shown that men are almost five times more likely to die by suicide in Ireland compared to women.

The National Suicide Research Foundation’s Annual Report shows that overall, 375 males and 76 females had died by suicide in 2015.

Rates of male suicide stayed much higher than female rates across all age brackets – the group with the highest rate of suicide were males aged 25-34 and 45-54.

Although the report showed that rates of suicide are falling steadily year-on-year – the rate of suicide amongst the 25-34 age bracket for 2015 has increased compared to 2014.

In 2014 there were 19.5 cases of suicide per 100,000 population – that figure rose to 24.2 last year.

Graph NOSP Annual Report 2015 NOSP Annual Report 2015

The above graph shows the huge difference between rates of suicide between men and women – the blue line representing men, the green line representing women, and the line in the middle is the total.

The total number of deaths by suicide for 2015 were 451.

By region

Rates of suicide over a ten-year period between 2004 and 2015 show that Limerick city had the highest rate of suicide – with rates reaching a peak in the past three to five years.

After Limerick city, the rates were highest in Carlow, Roscommon, Tipperary North, Clare and Cavan – with many of these areas being fairly remote.


Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Ms Helen McEntee TD, said that while she welcomed the overall reduced rates of suicide, that she was ”particularly concerned about the high rates of suicide and serious self-harm incidents in young people”.

In the foreword to the Annual Report, Anne O’Connor National Director of the HSE Mental Health Division said that a significant portion of funding last year “was invested in the provision of services for those who are experiencing diˆcult times”.

In 2015, the National Office for Suicide Prevention provided funding of €5.3 million to 32 non-profit and community organisations and service providers, as well as €770,000 directly to community organisations to support communities in responding to suicide.

The National Office for Suicide Prevention has received an increase of approximately 20% on 2014’s budget, bringing their total budget to €11.87 million.

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email
  • National Suicide Helpline 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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Read: Depression the reason behind retirement, not my knee, says ex-Wales back row Powell

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