Seanad debates

Thursday, 1 July 2010

10:30 am

Photo of Mary WhiteMary White (Fianna Fail)

The National Suicide Research Foundation, NSRF, in its annual report, 2009, indicated that there has been a major increase in deliberate self-harm among Irish men since 2007, particularly among younger men. The increasing rate of deliberate self-harm is a strong indication that there will be an increase in suicide. As an acute observer of suicide, in line with the production of my document, What We Can Do About Suicide in the New Ireland, in 2008, I was not surprised by the latest CSO figures on the surge of 25% in suicides in 2009 over 2008. Some 80% of the suicides were among men and the largest increase was in the 25 to 44 age cohort. That brings us back to deliberate self-harm, because the main method used by men is potentially much more lethal than for women, that is, hanging or drowning, where the chances of dying are much higher. Women generally self-harm by self-cutting, tranquillisers or whatever.

The NSRF says the indications are that the frightening 25% increase in suicide in 2008-09 is due to the economic recession, enhanced by job losses, spiralling debts and the fear of homes being repossessed. These factors lead to marital tension, strain in relationships and mental illness.


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