CSO figures show decline in number of suicides

Suicide remains the leading cause of death among young males (under 25)
CSO figures show decline in number of suicides

Muireann Duffy

The number of deaths recorded from suicide in the State in 2019 was down on the previous year's figures, reducing from 540 to 524 according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Despite the decrease, 2019's figures remained above that of 2017, when 510 such deaths were noted.

The data shows the rate of suicide among males increased by 4.6 per cent between 2015 (390 deaths) and 2019 (408 deaths), while female suicides rose by 8.4 per cent, from 107 to 116 in the same period.

The 116 deaths by suicide among females in 2019 represented a 17.7 per cent decline on 2018's figures, however the CSO noted that 2018 had recorded the highest number of female deaths from self-harm (141) since its records began in 1950.

Compared to other European countries, Ireland's standardised suicide rate in 2017 was 11.0 per 100,000 people, above the EU member state average of 10.1.

This measure showed Lithuania had the highest rate (26.0), while Cyprus had the lowest (4.0). Meanwhile, the UK had a comparable rate of 7.4.

Suicide was the number one cause of death among young males under 25 in 2019, while it was the third-highest cause of death among females of the same age category for the same period.

More that one-third of suicides in the State between 2015-2019 were by people aged 45-64, while one in 10 deaths from self-harm were by people aged 65 and over.

Regionally, the rate of suicide between 2015-2019 increased in Dublin (+46 per cent), the Mid-West (+14 per cent) and South-West (+5 per cent), but declined in four regions: the South-East (-18 per cent), the Border (-16 per cent), the West (-10 per cent) and the Mid-East (-8 per cent).

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, you can freephone the Samaritans 24 hours a day for confidential support at 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org. 

Alternatively, the contact information for a range of mental health supports is available at mentalhealthireland.ie/get-support. 

In the case of an emergency, or if you or someone you know is at risk of suicide or self-harm, dial 999/112. 

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