Press Release

Minister O’Malley opens National Office for Suicide Prevention’s National Forum

Mr Tim O’Malley T.D., Minister for State at the Department of Health and Children today (Thursday, 22nd March 2007) opened the National Office for Suicide Prevention’s National Forum. He also launched the fifth annual report compiled by the National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm.

The Minister said that the second National Forum “provides an opportunity for those interested in, and working in, suicide prevention to meet and exchange views”. He said it has been 18 months since the establishment of the National Office for Suicide Prevention and that such a forum gathers key stakeholders for consultation and communication.

He said that “it is important to ensure that the public are informed about the high rates of suicide especially among young people and identify ways in which we can reach out to those individuals and prevent the loss of more young lives”.

The Minister referred to “Reach Out” – A National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention 2005-2014 and said “a fundamental aim of this strategy is to prevent suicidal behaviour including deliberate self-harm, and to increase awareness of the importance of good mental health among the general population”.

The Minister also referred to the findings of the National Registry of Deliberate Self Harm. According to the Registry there were approximately 10,800 presentations to hospital due to deliberate self harm, involving approximately 8,600 individuals in Ireland in 2005. The figure is marginally down from 11,100 presentations in 2004.

He also outlined the target which has been agreed with the National Office for Suicide Prevention. The Minister said that “in light of the increased information around suicide prevention rates it is agreed that a target of a 10% reduction in suicide is to be achieved by 2010”. In addition, a target of a 5% reduction in repeated self harm by 2010 and a further 5% by 2016 was announced.

The Minister commended everyone involved in suicide prevention especially those from the National Office for Suicide Prevention and the National Suicide Research Foundation.