Men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, research by the University of Ulster has found.
The first ever detailed analysis of deaths by suicide in Northern Ireland since 1995 cited relationship breakups, financial crisis, employment related problems and the illness or death of a relative to be occurrences in the lives of some of those who had died by suicide.
Sixty-seven per cent of those who died by suicide had a recorded mental illness while 59 per cent had a recorded physical illness, the study by Professor Siobhan O’Neill and Dr Colette Corry, found.
The analysis looked at data from Northern Ireland Coroners’ files.
More details from the study will be presented during a lecture by Professor O’Neill from the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Well-being at the University’s Magee campus, at The Irish Association of Suicidology and Contact conference in Londonderry next week.
Professor O’Neill said the findings could help tailor services to those most at risk.
“This study provides us with the most detailed information to date, upon which to base future suicide prevention initiatives in Northern Ireland,” she said.
“We need to find ways of helping people of all ages, and men in particular, to seek help and support for mental health problems during stressful life events.
“Suicide prevention is not simply a matter for health care providers. Politicians and policy makers all need to remain cognisant of the impact of their social policies on mental health and suicide. Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility.”
Professor Brendan Bunting, the study’s principal investigator, said: “This study, along with recent evidence regarding the high rates of mental disorders in the NI population, constitutes ever more compelling evidence for an effective health and service provision across the life span.”
Seehttps://response.questback.com/britishpsychologicalsociety/understandingmentalhealth/for more information.