Suicide numbers 'could be higher than thought'

The actual numbers of people dying by suicide in Ireland could be much higher than thought.

CSO figures released this week show 525 people died by suicide last year, a 7% increase from 2010, when 490 suicides were recorded.

The vast majority (84%) of those who took their own lives were men.

Fine Gael TD Dan Neville has warned the real number could be closer to 600, however, as it excluded 65 undetermined deaths.

"These would have been recorded as suicide in most other western countries, so add that up and we're talking almost 600 suicide deaths," said Mr Neville.

"That's a very frightening figure."

Founder of Pieta House, Joan Freeman, said that it is time to act on suicide.

"People still are not talking about it," she said.

"People still are not really dealing with the fact that we can actually prevent suicide if we all work together

"If we say numbers like '525', it goes over most people's heads, but if we think that by next week, 10 more people will have died, that's more of a dramatic figure and a more real figure.

"We really need to do something about this."

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