Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is a major public health problem in Northern Ireland. Last year, 303 men, women and children took their lives. The psychological pain that causes people to take their own lives is unimaginable.

The Home Office estimates that 10 women in the UK kill themselves every week after repeated abuse. Research shows that domestic violence  is the most prevalent cause of depression and other mental health difficulties in women. Victims of abuse are five times more likely to attempt suicide than other women – with one third of all female suicide attempts linked to domestic violence. The figures for black and ethnic minority women are even higher.

Women’s Aid understand the devastating impact domestic or sexual violence can have on women’s lives. Our team of specially trained Helpline workers provide a confidential caring service 24 hours a day, every day.

The international theme of World Suicide Prevention Day is ‘Suicide Prevention: One World Connected.’

The theme reflects the fact that connections are important if we are to combat suicide – at an individual level, cross support services, and cross country/countries.

If you, or someone you know is thinking about suicide, reach out   there are organisations that can help.

Lifeline – 0808 808 8000

Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline service for people who are experiencing distress or despair. No matter what your age or where you live in Northern Ireland, if you are or someone you know is in distress or despair, Lifeline is here to help.

Calls to Lifeline are free to people living in Northern Ireland who are calling from UK landlines and mobiles.

Aware Defeat Depression – 08451 20 29 61

Aware Defeat Depression  has been working since 1996 to support all those in Northern Ireland affected by depression. They run a helpline and also have an established network of over twenty support groups in rural and urban areas across the country.

Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90

You can talk to the Samaritans anytime you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.

24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline – 0808 802 1414

The Helpline is open to all women and men affected by domestic & sexual violence. If you are being abused, physically, sexually, financially or emotionally, you have choices and support is available in many forms. Our team of specially trained Helpline workers provide a confidential caring service 24 hours a day, every day.

Facts about Suicide in Northern Ireland

  • Sadly, in 2013,  303 deaths were registered as suicides in Northern Ireland
  • During the period 1999 to 2009, a total of 2,258 deaths were registered as suicide
  • Incidents of suicide were most common in those aged between 25 to 34 years
  • Suicide rates tend to be higher in urban than in rural areas
  • Suicide doesn’t just affect the younger generations – approximately one in eight of all suicides in Northern Ireland are in the over-60 age group (BBC News, June 2007).
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44 yrs
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for women under the age of 34 yrs
  • The population death rates are around 10/100,000 people every year
  • 65,000 plan or attempt to take their life each year
  • 400,000 people think about taking their life each year

Source: Various from Stamp Out Suicide Website