Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (897)

Patricia Ryan


897. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Health the number of persons who died by suicide in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8707/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

In Ireland, suicide is determined by a coroner. Annual suicide statistics are usually published by the Central Statistics Office in June of the following year. Full year 2020 suicide figures are not yet available.

CSO vital statistics for quarters one and two of 2020 noted suicide figures as 72 and 25 respectively. The low number for quarter two may be due to the impact of the Covid pandemic and restrictions on the work of coroners.

The number of suicides in Ireland reduced from 578 in 2012 to 516 in 2016 (CSO official figures, including late registrations). CSO official figures for 2017 and 2018 are 383 and 437 respectively, while the provisional figure for 2019 is 421. These figures exclude coroners' late registrations so are likely to change. I attach for your information the latest briefing on suicide figures by the National Office for Suicide Prevention.

Early international evidence has not indicated an increase in suicide during the pandemic, while a decrease in self-harm/suicide attempts was noted during the early months. However, these findings should be interpreted with caution, as patterns may change over time.