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Suicides among young people decreased significantly last year

But the Console charity says the fall hasn’t been matched in other parts of society.

THERE WAS A significant decrease in the number of young people who died by suicide last year.

Suicide prevention charity Console have welcomed the decrease but say that a real-time register of suicide data would help reduce numbers further.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office show that 57 people between the ages of 15-24 died by suicide in 2013 compared to 74 the previous year. It continues a two-year trend which now shows a drop of 40 per cent against the 2011 figure of 95 deaths.

In total there were 475 suicides last year, a slight 6.3 per cent decrease on the previous year, meaning that the fall in youth suicide has not been matched in other parts of society.

“While the drop in deaths by suicide in this category is welcome, Ireland still has the fourth highest rate of suicide in the EU for this demographic, according to WHO figures, and this clearly needs more attention,” Console’s Ciaran Austin said today.

Console noted concern about the number of people in the 45-54 age group who took their own lives last year, 108 in 2013 as opposed to 86 in 2012.

“This would mirror a rise in calls to our helpline from people in this age category. The regional data in some areas is alarming in the CSO statistics with several counties recording rates of suicide well above the national average.”

Console also looks at deaths recorded as ‘events of undetermined intent’ when analysing trends, an area which saw a 21% drop last year. For clarity however, more research is needed into this area and others they argue.

“We need significant changes and investment in research as the lack of accurate up-to-date information is impeding our ability to understand and respond to the awful tragedy of suicide in a timely fashion,” said Austin.

For counselling, advice and general support for anyone who has been affected by suicide, Console can be reached at any time on freephone 1800 247 247 or at www.console.ie

Read: Suicides in Kerry decreased since Donal Walsh spoke out, says coroner >

Read: Booklet launched to combat “suicide crisis” and increase in rural isolation >

Read: Suicide in Ireland increased by 7 per cent last year >

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Rónán Duffy

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