Friday, July 6, 2007

Forty per cent of Northen Ireland suicides are younger men, says report

More than 40 per cent of those who took their own lives in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2004 were men under 35 years of age, according to a report from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (press release here; full report here in pdf format).

Main findings:

  • People in Northern Ireland report higher happiness levels than in many parts of Europe and further afield, yet this sits alongside high levels of unhappiness and psychological distress.
  • Conflict related trauma can have long term physical and mental consequences, and suicide rates have been associated with immediate and longer term consequences of conflict.
  • Research shows that people who live in an area heavily affected by violence tend to have very high rates of depression.
  • The troubles affected the way suicide was reported and recorded, and limited public recognition of suicide and self-harming as serious public issues.
  • During the transition to peace, people are more willing to report depression etc.
The suicide rate for men aged 25-34 in Northern Ireland doubled between 1995 and 2000. For those aged 15-24, it rose by 35 per cent and for those aged 55-64 by 70 per cent. For the 75+ age group the rate actually fell by 75 per cent.

For women the suicide rate more than trebled for the 25-34 year old group but fell for those aged 55 and over.

The number of suicides resulting directly from the interrogation and
punishment practices of loyalist and republican armed groups has not
been established, it says.....

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