Samaritans urges government to take action to reduce suicide

Samaritans is urging the new Government to take steps to reduce suicide in Ireland. This plea comes as the organisation releases its annual report giving in depth analysis of the latest suicide statistics. It shows the female suicide rate for the Republic of Ireland has increased by 14.7% in the year 2013 to 2014, while the rate for men fell by 6.4%.

In 2014, 459 people took their own lives, of whom 368 were men and 91 were women*.

Samaritans Executive Director for Ireland, Catherine Brogan, said: ‘We are naturally concerned. Each person who dies by suicide leaves behind family and friends whose lives will never be the same again. Every single suicide is a tragedy.”

“Tackling suicide requires a wide range of agencies to work together nationally and in communities, to give people the best chance to turn their lives around when they are struggling. Strong political oversight and leadership is required to ensure that the challenges we face in reducing suicide are overcome.”

Samaritans is calling on parties and elected representatives to make suicide reduction a priority by ensuring that Connecting for Life, the national strategy for suicide reduction is implemented and that ring-fenced funding for suicide reduction is maintained.

Catherine Brogan continued: “Men in the Republic of Ireland are still four times more likely to take their own lives than women. We must all work together to encourage men and women to seek help before reaching a crisis point, so that they can access the support they need.”

“We all have a role to play in reducing suicide in Ireland. Feeling physically or socially isolated is a risk to your mental health. Be kind to yourself and, if you’re struggling, take action.  Go to the GP, contact Samaritans If you see someone else struggling to cope, take action, ask them. ‘Are you ok?’ Those could be the most important words you say today.”

Anyone can contact Samaritans, you don’t have to be suicidal. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.ie to find details of your nearest branch.

Samaritans’ Suicide Statistics Report 2016 can be accessed in full here: www.samaritans.org/report2016

*The number of deaths by suicide in 2014 is based on provisional data, which is subject to future revision.

For further information, please contact the Rachel Wright or Trudy McCarthy on 016710071/085 860 5554 or at r.wright@samaritans.org or t.mccarthy@samaritans.org

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Notes to editors:

Republic of Ireland data for number of deaths by suicide and population estimates are provided by the Central Statistics Office for Ireland (CSO). Samaritans has calculated suicide rates for 2014 based on newly available data from CSO.