Six times more suicides than road deaths

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Six times as many people die by suicide in Northern Ireland as from road accidents, it has been revealed.

The DUP have raised the issue with Prime Minister David Cameron and a debate is due to be held in Parliament later on Wednesday.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon asked Mr Cameron if he is concerned about the issue of suicide, to which he replied he was glad the issue had been brought for debate.

Earlier this year figures revealed that the rate of suicide among young people in ireland is among the highest in Europe.

An estimated 165 teens and young men took their own lives in the Republic of Ireland in 2011, while another 72 died by suicide in Northern Ireland.

Figures released to a Health Committee meeting in January this year showed that 223 deaths in the first nine months of 2012 were by suicide.

Speaking after the latest figures were revealed Stormont’s Health Minister Edwin Poots said despite investing over £32 million in suicide prevention since 2006 the rate has not fallen.

“Around 300 people a year in Northern Ireland continue to die by suicide every year,” he said.

“Men aged from 18 to 54 who live in deprived areas face the greatest level of risk. In fact, males are three times as likely as females to die by suicide.

“Combating suicide is an immensely challenging task and there is no single miraculous intervention.

“We need to trial a range of interventions and persist with those that prove to be effective.”

A Suicide Prevention Strategy is expected to be in place by 2014.