Mental Health Information & Reports

Mental Health Commission: 2013 – 2015

This is the fourth Strategic Plan of the Mental Health Commission and covers the period 2013 – 2015. A Strategic Plan is an important guidance document that informs and directs the work of the Commission. This Plan has been drawn up against a backdrop of Public Sector Reform, the contraction of Public Sector expenditure and the requirement that services are maintained at the current level. The implementation of A Vision for Change continues to be a priority for the Mental Health Commission. Presently, the Mental Health Act 2001 is under review and the Commission expects significant changes to arise from the review.

Mental Health Reform Budget 2015

While the economy is showing some signs of recovery, Ireland’s mental health system continues to be under strain. Commenting on a recent international study into the links between suicide and the recession, co-author Prof. David Stuckler said, “Suicides are just the tip of the iceberg. These data reveal a looming mental health crisis in Europe and North America.”1 With the fourth highest suicide rate among young people in Europe, Ireland is certainly not immune to this impact.

The National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm Ireland 2014

One of the benefits of such a monitoring system is in examining trends of self-harm rates over time. Ireland was profoundly affected by the global financial crisis, and experienced five years of economic recession, as detailed in the 2013 annual report. Data collected by the Registry during this time reflected the impact of the recession on suicidal behaviour in Ireland, and we saw a 12% increase in rates of self-harm during the period 2007-2012. These data mirrored a significant increase in suicide rates during this period. These findings have now been published in an international peer-reviewed journal (International Journal of Epidemiology).

Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide 2013

On average, more than 6,000 individuals take their own lives by suicide each year across the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). Some of these deaths attract media attention. Suicide is a complex topic and presents a distinct set of challenges for the journalists who report on it. They have to balance a range of factors including what is in the public interest and the risk of encouraging imitative behaviour. At the same time they must guard against intrusion into the grief and shock of the bereaved while considering industry regulation and codes of practice.

The National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm Ireland 2013

Considering that the rate of self-harm in 2013 was still 6% higher than in 2007, before the economic recession, this underlines the need for continued implementation and evaluation of programmes to increase awareness of mental health issues among the general public and professionals involved in supporting people who are unemployed and those experiencing financial difficulties.