Connecting for life. Irelandâ?Ts National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020.
(PDF p.32) While Irelandâ?Ts overall suicide rate is among the lowest in the OECD, particular demographic groups have consistently been shown by both national and international research evidence to have increased risk of suicidal behaviour. These include young people aged 15-24, people with mental health problems of all ages, people with alcohol and drug problems, people bereaved by suicide and prisoners. (PDF p.6) Research shows a strong link between mental health difficulties and death by suicide. In high-income countries, mental health problems are present in up to 90% of people who die by suicide. In Ireland, one in four people will use a mental health service at some stage of their lives. While depression and substance use disorders are relatively common, most people suffering from them will not display suicidal behaviour. However, people dying by suicide or making suicide attempts may have significant psychiatric co morbidity. Suicide risk varies with the type of disorder. The most common disorders associated with suicidal behaviour are depression and alcohol use disorders. As of 2010, the alcohol consumption rate for Ireland was one of the highest in Europe, averaging at 11.9 litres per adult person. Between the period 1980 to 2010, the average alcohol consumption in Europe decreased by an average of 15%, while consumption in Ireland over that period increased by 24%. Alcohol and other substance use disorders are found in 25-50% of all suicides. Acknowledging the issue of alcohol misuse in Ireland will be one of the essential elements to the successful implementation of Connecting for Life. (PDF p.119) Appendix 6: Protective and risk factors for suicide Protective and risk factors for suicide Harmful use of alcohol and other substances: All substance use disorders increase the risk of suicide. Alcohol and other substances use disorders are found in 25 â?" 50% of all suicides, and suicide risk is further increased if alcohol or substance use is comorbid with other psychiatric disorders. Of all deaths from suicide, 22% can be attributed to the use of alcohol, which means that every fifth suicide would not occur if alcohol were not consumed in the population. Dependence on other substances, including cannabis, heroin or nicotine, is also a risk factor for suicide.