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Suicide In Ireland

Introduction

Suicide amongst young people is one of the most tragic and often unexplained public health issues in Ireland. It is estimated that one in three people will be affected at some point in their lives either directly or through a family member. For many years, mental health issues such as depression and suicide were stigmatised and marginalised but now more and more people are becoming aware of its seriousness and prevalence in society particularly amongst young people which will be the focus of this essay.

Prevalence

Although Ireland has the sixth lowest rate of death by suicide in the E.U, it ranks fourth highest in the E.U for deaths by suicide for 5-25 year olds, at 13.9 per 100,000 population. While women are more likely to get depressed, men are more likely to commit suicide as the statisitcs show. There were 495 deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2010, representing a rate of 10.9 per 100,000 population. 405 (82%) of these were among men. This gender differentiation is a constant feature of the deaths by suicide over the last decade. In fact, young males are particularly vulnerable to suicide. The highest rate is among 20-24 yr old males at 31.9 per 100,000 population, 42% of those who died in 2010 were men less than 40 years of age.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for suicide are numerous and wide-ranging and include mental disorders, alcohol and other substance abuse, feelings of hopelessness, experiences of bullying, family history of suicide, previous suicide attempts, lack of social support, a sense of isolation, major physical illness, a history of trauma or abuse, significant life events (e.g. a family bereavement), loss of relationship, job or financial loss and easy access to lethal methods.

Mental disor...

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...ions available significantly improves the detection and treatment of depression.

One of the keys to reducing depression and suicide is to destigmatise mental health. This can achieved by raising public awareness of depression and mental health. Much progress had already been made with many people such as Conor Cussack and Niall Breslin blogging and going on television to describe their own personal experiences of mental health. Public education can help destigmatised mental health. Many people have misconceptions of the nature of mental health believing it to be related to a persons character and morality as opposed to phsiological casues such as misregulation of certain neurotransmitters and hormones. Teaching people about the true causes of mental health through ad campaigns on television and information leaflets will help change public opinion of mental health.

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