In communities across Ireland, suicide generates feelings of grief, apprehension and concern. For every Irish person who dies by suicide, many others attempt to end their lives, and many more suffer the despair that leads them to consider suicide. Historically as a nation we have struggled to talk openly about suicide and how it impacts on us.
However, our national conversation is growing and we are becoming better at discussing and addressing issues relating to our mental health. It is essential that we maintain the momentum.
Our national suicide prevention strategy, Connecting for Life, is a whole-of-society strategy to co-ordinate and focus our national effort to reduce the loss of life by suicide.
Suicide prevention 2015 - 2020
Connecting for Life involves preventive and awareness-raising work with the population as a whole, supportive work with local communities and targeted approaches for priority groups. The strategy proposes high-quality standards of practice across service delivery areas, and an underpinning evaluation and research framework.
This wide reach presents unique implementation challenges. The whole-of-government, multi-agency, inter-professional, expert-by-experience, local/national focuses will involve multiple stakeholders across and between levels of government and governance
Suicide prevention in Ireland up to 2014
Suicide prevention in Ireland up to 2014 was guided by Reach Out, the first national suicide prevention strategy. Reach Out brought a focus on suicide prevention work and guided activities in this area in Ireland from 2005 to 2014.
Reach Out set out a vision and guiding principles for suicide prevention in Ireland. It outlined 96 actions and identified lead agencies. These actions fell within the remits of over 80 agencies and departments, not including the organisations funded by the HSE NOSP to deliver many of the actions, working in collaboration with HSE Resource Officers for Suicide Prevention. A total of 34 organisations (mainly non-statutory organisations), were funded by the NOSP in 2014 alone.
Since the launch of Reach Out, there have been significant developments in the areas of research, policy and service delivery relating to suicide prevention, including:
- National and international research into suicidal behaviour and an improved understanding of the evidence base for suicide prevention.
- A stronger and far-reaching working relationship with a wide range of non-statutory and community partners, underpinned by a focus on hope, belief, recovery and commitment.
- A range of public policies within and beyond the health services that either deal directly with suicide prevention or have the potential to impact positively in terms of reducing suicidal behaviour and improving the wellbeing of the population.
- Increased public awareness of suicide prevention and mental health.
More information on suicide prevention