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New report important step in tackling suicide – Poots

The Health Minister has launched a new report that he says will help in the drive against suicide.
Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The All-island Young Men and Suicide Project report has been produced by the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland and aimed to identify a range of possible means to promote positive mental health among young men on the island of Ireland.

The Minister said: “Suicide is a major cause of death among young males in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Despite my Department’s investment of over £32 million in suicide prevention since 2006, the suicide rate has not fallen. Around 300 people a year in Northern Ireland continue to die by suicide every year. Men aged from 18 to 54 who live in deprived areas face the greatest level of risk. In fact, males are three times as likely as females to die by suicide.”

Mr Poots continued: “Combating suicide is an immensely challenging task and there is no single miraculous intervention. Identifying effective ways to promote positive mental health amongst young men is crucial in the drive against suicide. That is why this report is so important. It points us towards measures that have been tried and tested, and show to be useful. It also adds to our bank of knowledge on the psychological issues facing young men in modern society and the type of service provision that is relevant to them.”

The report recommends a whole of Government approach to young men’s mental health. The Minister said: “The health sector cannot address suicide on its own. Suicide is a societal issue and we need to secure cross Government commitment. In Northern Ireland, progress is being made through the Ministerial Co-ordination Group on Suicide Prevention. I intend to keep this momentum going and to work with my Ministerial colleagues to embed mental health promotion within a much wider range of Government strategies and programmes.”

A copy of the report, including key findings and recommendations can be accessed online

Notes to editors:

1. The Men’s Health Forum in Ireland is a charity which works on a all-Ireland basis to enhance the health of men and boys.

2. Media queries about this press release to DHSSPS Press Office on 028 9052 0571 or out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.