Limerick TD expresses 'deep concern' at suicide figures that are twice national average

TD Maurice Quinlivan said it was "both shocking and upsetting that the suicide rate for Limerick city is more than twice the national average"

TD Maurice Quinlivan said it was "both shocking and upsetting that the suicide rate for Limerick city is more than twice the national average"

MAURICE Quinlivan has spoken of his “deep concern” at figures that show the suicide rate in Limerick city is more than twice the national average.

The Sinn Fein TD said it was “both shocking and upsetting" that the suicide rate for Limerick city is more than twice the national average from 2014 to 2016 and called for 24/7 crisis intervention services for the region.

The data was compiled by the National Suicide Research Foundation for the period 2014 to 2016 and revealed that the average rate of suicide in Limerick city was 23.7 per 100,000.

This is higher than the last report for the period from 2011-2013, which recorded a rate of 22.4.

“Whilst nationally the figures for suicide are slightly declining, which is most welcome, Limerick city figures have risen,” said Deputy Quinlivan.

“When the Limerick figure of 23.7 is compared to other regions, the massive disparity is clear; Dublin has a rate of 6.7 while Waterford city stands at 2.1. 

“It is both shocking and upsetting that the suicide rate for Limerick city is more than twice the national average which stands at 10.5.

“This clearly demonstrates that a properly resourced 24/7 crisis intervention service is essential for our region,” he added.

The figures also show that in 2015, 425 people took their own lives nationally and that twice to three times as many men than women died by suicide.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that accurate figures for death by suicide are extremely hard to obtain. Many other cases of death by suicide have been recorded as accidental death when the individual may have died by suicide,” said the Sinn Fein TD for Limerick.

“The only way you can get real figures and a true insight as to the actually rate of death by suicide is by listening and talking to the families who have lost loved ones,” he added.

In 2016, the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland recorded 11,485 presentations to hospital due to self-harm nationally. Accident and emergency departments do not offer appropriate care or follow up for those in acute mental distress, the Limerick TD said.

“What is required is the provision of 24/7 crisis intervention services, which could provide assistance to people day or night when they require help, and hopefully reduce the number of suicides,” said Deputy Quinlivan.

“Figures released to Sinn Féin also show that the child and adolescent mental health team in the Limerick region is operating with only 58.7% of the recommended staff set out in the Vision for Change strategy.

“The sad reality is that without adequate resources and the provision of proper services for those in acute mental distress, the figures for death by suicide and self-harm will only continue to increase,” he added.