NORTHERN IRELAND: Number of suicides up 8% with disadvantaged men most at risk

December 04, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News

Belfast Telegraph

The suicide rate in Northern Ireland has increased by 8% in the last six years, and disadvantaged men continue to be at greatest risk. The recent Health Inequalities in Northern Ireland Survey shows that there is a large variation by geographic area, with people in low-income areas having more than three times the suicide rate of those in affluent communities. In addition, men in the most deprived areas live an average of 7.5 fewer years than men in the most affluent areas. This data has spurred a call for more “assertive outreach work” to reach disadvantaged men. “To increase Lifeline outreach to men at risk, we are pursuing active partnership with the hostel sector and the PSNI” [Police Service of Northern Ireland], said Fergus Cumiskey, MD for Contact, the charity that runs the Lifeline crisis helpline service. “Zero suicide should be the only acceptable target for people in our care.” The health minister has also restated a commitment to developing a comprehensive mental trauma service in Northern Ireland. 

Spark Extra! For more information about suicide risk in disadvantaged men, see the research report Men, Suicide, and Society.