There were over 500 deaths by suicide in Ireland in 2010, almost double that of road accident deaths. Death by suicide is the most common cause of death among young men. Most families have been touched by suicide and the devastation that it wreaks
on those left behind. This issue of ChildLinks is focused on the theme of understanding suicide, including its prevalence, its mpact on children and families, different cultural attitudes to suicide and the role of suicide prevention training. Dr Dermot Walsh in his article highlights the link between alcohol consumption and suicide rates in the Irish population and concludes that a recent decline in alcohol consumption would appear to have had some effect in the reduction of suicide rates in 2010. Dr Walsh identifies alcohol consumption in Ireland as the most securely identified influence on suicide rates. Recent research on the prevalence of child and youth suicide in the context of the spectrum of deliberate self harm (DSH) is explored in an article by Dr John Fagan and
Professor Fiona McNicholas. The need for understanding of the different cultural attitudes to suicide by different ethnic groups is highlighted by Cairde. The role of Suicide Prevention Training under the co-ordination of the National
Office for Suicide Prevention and as
implemented by a community
organisation in Belfast is also explored.
The impact of suicide on children and
families is explored by Nicola Mitchell
from the Barnardos Bereavement
Counselling Service. Approximately
one quarter of children seen by the
service in 2010 had experienced
the death of a close relative, most
often the father, as a result of
suicide. Research has found that
children often witness some aspect
of the suicide. It is very important
that such children and families are
supported to come to terms with
what has happened.
Many workplaces are now taking
steps to put in place suicide policies
which encompass prevention and
intervention. It is essential that
professionals working in social
services, including early childhood
care and education, are
appropriately trained in the skills that
will equip them to understand
suicide issues and to be alert to the possibility of suicide.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Items in Barnardos Knowledge Bank are protected by copyright. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher/copyright holder.