Irish suicide rate one of highest in Europe

Updated: Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013 22:10

A cross-border report on suicide shows the rate among young people on the island of Ireland is one of the highest in Europe.

An estimated 165 teenagers and young men took their own lives in the Republic in 2011, and 72 teenagers and young men took their own lives in Northern Ireland during the same year.

The jointly funded cross-border report found the high numbers in both jurisdictions coincide with the economic downturn and rising levels of unemployment.

The Young Men and Suicide Project shows that over the past ten years men have been five times more likely to take their own lives than women.

Dr Noel Richardson, lead author of the report, said there can be no quick-fix solutions to tackling the very grave statistics.

"But neither is there any place for inertia or ambivalence," he said.

"There is both a public health and a moral requirement to act.

"There needs to be a concerted effort to engage more effectively, and in a more sustained way, with young men, and to plan services and programmes with young men in mind.

"This report provides a blueprint and a roadmap for action."

The study will be launched in Dublin by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch, and in Northern Ireland by Minister for Health Edwin Poots.

It was funded by the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland and the National Office for Suicide Prevention in the Republic.

Ms Lynch said that the campaign would be forthright and all of the community need to be involved.

She also said services and supports need to target where young people are, especially mobile phones and social media.

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