Suicide Information & Reports

Understanding Deliberate Self Harm 2015

The Northern Ireland Registry of Deliberate Self-Harm was established as an outcome of the Northern Ireland Suicide Prevention Strategy and Action Plan – Protect Life, beginning in the Western Health and Social Care Trust area. Aims: The study aimed to establish the incidence of hospital-treated deliberate self harm in the Western Area of Northern Ireland, and to explore the profile of such presentations. Method: Deliberate self-harm presentations made to the three hospital emergency departments operating in the area during the period 2007–2012 were recorded. Results: There were 8,175 deliberate self-harm presentations by 4,733 individuals. Respectively, the total, male, and female age-standardized incidence rate was 342, 320, and 366 per 100,000 population. City council residents had a far higher self-harm rate.

The peak rate for women was among 15–19-year-olds (837 per 100,000) and for men was among 20–24-year-olds (809 per 100,000). Risk of repetition was higher in 35–44-year-old patients if self-cutting was involved, but was most strongly associated with the number of previous self harm presentations. Conclusion: The incidence of hospital-treated self-harm in Northern Ireland is far higher than in the Republic of Ireland and more comparable to that in England.

Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020

In communities across Ireland, suicide generates feelings of grief, apprehension and concern. For every Irish person who dies by suicide, many others attempt to end their lives, and many more suffer the despair that leads them to  consider suicide. Historically as a nation we have struggled to talk openly about suicide and how it impacts on us. However, our national conversation is growing and we are becoming better at discussing and addressing issues relating to our mental health. It is essential that we maintain the momentum.  Connecting for Life is a whole-of-society strategy to co-ordinate and focus our national effort to reduce the loss of life by suicide.

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).