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Thursday 17 January 2019

Alcohol raises suicide risk by 800pc

ALCOHOL increases the risk of suicide by an alarming 800pc.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has acknowledged that alcohol use, particularly in key age groups such as the 20-35 year group, can have a hugely damaging impact on mental health.

The revelation came as Ireland marked World Suicide Prevention Day.

A report by the HSE found that: "Alcohol can facilitate suicide by increasing impulsivity, changing mood and deepening depression."

Suicide is now the leading cause of death for Irish men aged from 15 to 24 years.

One east-Cork cemetery has a section known as 'suicide row', such are the numbers of young men buried there having taken their own lives.

High rates of suicide have been recorded in Dublin city, the north-east, the south west and Cork.

A new World Health Organisation (WHO) report found that alcohol can increase the risk factor for suicide by a startling 800pc.

In the UK, the Mental Health Foundation stated that as many as 65pc of suicides were directly related to excessive drinking.

They identified alcohol problems as one of the highest risk factors possible for suicide.

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That MHF report identified a strong link between alcohol use and thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts and completed suicides among people under the age of 24.

One study in Ireland's north east dealing with people from three counties who died as a result of suicide found that more than half had alcohol in their blood.

Now, employment consultants Afresh said that Irish firms are taking a pro-active stance and trying to help workers who may have problems such as depression and addictions.

"Afresh works with many Irish companies to assist them to play a role in educating their employees as to the dangers of using alcohol and other damaging lifestyle choices to deal with stressful life situations," director Deirdre Cronnelly said.

Suicide support campaigner Cllr Pat Buckley (SF) warned that much more needs to be done by the Government to finance self-help groups.

Cllr Buckley, who lost two brothers to suicide, founded the support group 'Let's Get Together', but they do not receive a cent in state funding.

"Young men aged 18 to 25 were always the greatest risk group," he said.

"But we are seeing a significant increase in the number of men and woman aged from 30 to 55 taking their own lives."

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