The HSE has issued two reports on suicide and self harm

Two reports from the HSE show that suicide and self harm rates are stabilising, however, self harm rates among young people and the homeless population are increasing.

392 people died by suicide in 2017, compared to almost 500 in 2014 - while 79% of the deaths in 2017 were men.

The highest rates of suicide were observed among men aged between 45 and 54 and women between 55 and 64, according to the National Office For Suicide Prevention's annual report for 2017.

Mr John Meehan, HSE Assistant National Director, Head of NOSP & Mental Health Strategy & Planning, said: These downward trends are welcomed, but suicide remains a complex issue requiring evidenced and targeted approaches and interventions across many different sectors. Connecting for Life, our national strategy to reduce suicide is now in its most effective period of implementation. Our focus in 2017 and ongoing, remains supporting, informing and monitoring the strategy’s collaborative implementation”.


In a separate report, there were 11,600 presentations to hospital due to self-harm nationally, involving 9,103 people in 2017, according to the National Self-Harm Registry.

That's 3% lower than in 2016 and 11% lower than the peak rate in 2010.

However rates of self-harm among young people and the homeless population are increasing.

Since 2007, the rate self-harm among young people has increased by 21%, while, In 2017, a total of 591 presentations to hospital were made by people of no fixed abode, an increase of 13% from 2016.

Dr Eve Griffin, Manager, National-Self-Harm Registry Ireland, National Suicide Research Foundation states: “The increase in self-harm among young people signals an unmet need in terms of mental health services for children and adolescents. Effective interventions are needed for young people at risk of self-harm. School-based programmes to promote positive mental health should also be a priority”.