Record number of suicides in Northern Ireland in 2010

The highest number of suicides recorded in Northern Ireland took place last year, a report has revealed.

The Institute of Public Health said 313 deaths in 2010 were registered as suicides, 240 males and 73 females.

The report also linked unemployment and the current economic climate to the rise in mental health problems in men in Northern Ireland.

High stress levels, over-use of alcohol and drugs, relationship problems and isolation were among the main causes.

In addition to health challenges being higher for unemployed men, they were also very high for men who saw themselves as being threatened with unemployment, the report said.

Owen Metcalfe, IPH associate director, said: “Men’s health issues in times of economic recession are made more difficult by their tendency to take fewer health preventative measures, and be less likely to seek support.

“The combination of perceived inadequate service responses and the reluctance of many men to communicate their problems mean that a large proportion of more critical effects are undoubtedly hidden.”