Spate of teen suicides over May weekend

THERE was a spate of teenage suicides in the Cork area over the recent bank holiday weekend.

Three men aged under 19 took their own lives in just four days.

Details of the tragic deaths emerged last night as a suicide awareness campaign aimed at young people was launched in the city.

Munster Rugby has joined with Cork’s RedFM, Suicide Aware, and the Irish Examiner, for the Mind Your Mates initiative.

It aims to make young people aware of the signs of suicidal behaviour in their friends, and how they can intervene and possibly save a life.

A Suicide Aware spokesperson said their research shows that 85% of people who had suicidal thoughts changed their mind after the intervention of a friend or a helpline.

“This is why it is so important that young people are aware of the warning signs in someone contemplating suicide.

“It can be little things like a loved one giving away personal possessions, saying they are not valued, or simply saying goodbye in an unusual fashion. People must be aware of these signs and be equipped to confront and talk about the issue. It could save a life.”

The young men who died by suicide over the May bank holiday weekend were a 17-year-old youth from the Mayfield area, an 18-year-old from the Blarney area and a 19-year-old from the Kinsale area.

They were not known to each other but they all took their lives in the same way.

The Mind Your Mates initiative comes just days after figures from the Central Statistics Office showed that Ireland’s suicide rate is the highest in its history.

The provisional figures for 2009 indicate an increase of 4% to 527 deaths, the highest number ever recorded.

The figures also showed in a two-and-half-year period from 2008 to June 2010, a total of 202 people died by suicide in Cork city and county alone.

Males accounted for the majority of suicides at 170.

It also emerged at the launch of Childline’s annual report on Tuesday that children aged as young as nine are contacting the charity with suicidal thoughts.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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