Suicide among young people: Rates almost highest in EU

Yesterday’s National Women’s Council of Ireland report that Ireland’s suicide rate among girls is the highest in the EU is a chastening wake-up call that can’t be ignored.

It is yet another warning that our mental health provision and supports are inadequate.

This culture is epitomised by a simple fact — just yesterday the HSE site page dealing with suicide referred to 2010 figures, data that’s all but a decade old.

This hardly indicates a dynamic concern or relationship with the distressed world all around us.

Almost 400 suicides, 392, were registered last year. Males accounted for almost eight-in-10 deaths.

CSO records a continuing downward trend.

There were 425 such deaths in 2015 and 486 in 2014. The majority (335 or 79%) were among men. The highest rates were among 45-54 year-olds (men) and 55-64 year-olds (women).

Ireland’s overall rate in 2015 was 10th lowest of 33 European countries.

Although for young people (aged 15-19), it was seventh highest, some suicides may not be registered as such, so the real number may be higher.

The European Child Safety Alliance has recorded that 2.37 Irish girls, anyone up to 19 years of age, for every 100,000 take their lives.

Only Norway, 3.42, has a higher rate.

The situation is even worse for boys. Ireland ranks second on 5.23 but Lithuania records a 7.78 rate.

These figures describe sorrow and heartbreak of an inordinate scale and we should do more to reduce them.

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