8 recorded deaths by suicide in Clare last year – BREEN

July 13th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs & Trade Pat Breen described the news that 8 deaths were recorded by suicide in Clare last year as very worrying. The latest figures from the CSO show that 525 people died by suicide in 2011; 439 of them were men and 86 were female.

“In Clare’s case 8 deaths were recorded as suicide last year, 7 males and 1 female. If that many people died on our roads there would a huge uproar. These figures also reveal that were 65 undetermined deaths in 2011 and as well as that there are many unidentified suicides such as singular occupancy road crashes means the real figure for last year may be over 600.”

“Losing a love one by suicide is very traumatic for the family and friends of the victim, but also it a traumatic time for the communities involved. Understanding why suicide rates are so high requires extensive research; however, there are a number of contributory factors that we can identify. Right across Europe, there has been a marked increase in suicide linked with the economic recession. In Italy, suicides among men by economic crises rose by 52% up from 123 in 2005 to 187 in 2010; while here in Ireland during the same period; suicides among men rose more than 16% “.

“The neglect of our mental health services is another key contributory factor. 80% of those who die by suicide are suffering from a mental health difficulty and it is important now that we review our mental health services to ensure that help is available for those who need it. In the recent Budget, the Government allocated €35 million towards the development of mental health services. It is vital that this allocation is spent as intended. In 2006 and 2007, monies intended for mental health services were spent elsewhere; this cannot be allowed to happen again. It is also important that we continue to develop our community based multi-disciplinary psychiatric services.”

“Ireland has the 36th highest suicide rate in the world. Talking about suicide, depression and poor mental health could thwart this rise in suicide. It is important for people to know that there is help out there and there are many organisations providing support, The National Office for Suicide Prevention, the HSE, the Samaritans and Pieta House to mention a few. I would encourage people not to suffer in silence; there is help available and I would encourage them to pick up the phone and get the help they need.”