THE unacceptably high rate of young Irish women dying by suicide urgently needs to be addressed, according to Limerick Fine Gael TD Dan Neville, who is chairman of the Irish Association of Suicidology.
Speaking in the Dáil this week, he referred to the European Child Safety Alliance report which revealed that Ireland has the highest rate of suicide among young females under 20 years of age, which is two and a half times the European average.
Ireland also has the second highest rate of youth suicide among males, 5.12 per 100,000, compared to the European average of 2.39.
According to Deputy Neville, research shows that the reasons children and young people die by suicide are complex, often involving an interconnection of different factors and events. Difficulties in relationships either with a partner or a family member are a commonly cited reason for youth suicide.
“Substance misuse, aggression, risky sexual behaviour and health problems have been found to be related to suicidality. A negative perception of body image and a lack of attention to their own physical needs are seen as risks for suicidal behaviour in some young people,” he said.
Deputy Neville went on to say that the new framework being developed by the National Office for Suicide Prevention should provide for a specific examination of youth suicide among both males and females.