Samaritans Ireland today welcomed provisional* statistics showing a decrease in the number of deaths by suicide in the Republic of Ireland.
According to the Central Statistics Office, the number of people who died by suicide in 2018 was 352, down from 392 in 2017.
The suicide rate decreased for both men and women, but men remain four times more likely to take their own lives than women.
The rate of suicide was 7.2 in 2018, down from 10.6 in 2013.
Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive of Samaritans, said that while the statistics show a decline, more work is needed in the area of suicide prevention.
“Every death by suicide is devastating and is more than a just a number. It is a family member, a friend or a colleague who has left behind loved ones and we think of them today,” she said.
“While this decrease in suicide rates is welcome, we all still have so much work to do to help reduce the rate even further.”
The statistics for 2016 and 2017 are provisional and may increase in time as more inquests and investigations are completed over the coming months.
Final statistics for 2016 recorded 437 deaths by suicide, up from 425 in 2015.
Ruth continued: “Samaritans vision is that fewer people die by suicide and we want to do that by reaching those who need us, when they need us, and offering a safe place to talk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Our volunteers have answered almost three million calls since the launch of our freephone number in Ireland five years ago, as well as support people on email, by text and face to face, but we still need to do more to target those most at risk.
“We urge anyone in need of support to reach out for help and call us on freephone 116 123, text 087 260 9090 (standard rates apply) or email [email protected].”
* Provisional data that will be finalised in subsequent years; provisional data reflects the suicides registered in 2018, final data will reflect the suicides that occur in that year.
Statistics from the CSO’s Vital Statistics Yearly Summary 2018.