One person a day died by suicide in Ireland last year.

Globally, one person takes their own life every 40 seconds – a death rate higher than war, the World Health Organisation has said.

More than 5,300 people have had face-to-face appointments with Pieta’s suicide-prevention service this year.

Hundreds of pairs of shoes placed on the steps of St Peter’s church in Drogheda today to remember those who have been lost to suicide to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Picture Ciara Wilkinson.

The charity expects to break last year’s record high of just over 8,000.


Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, and people are being asked to light a candle to mark it tonight.

Pieta House’s Sinead Raftery said one in seven adults has experienced mental health issues over the past year.

She said: “We all have mental health, so one in seven of us might experience mental health issues in the last 12 months, but seven out of seven of us have mental health and we all need to protect it.

“I think more people are reaching out and are accessing services and getting help.”

She continued by saying that self-harm remains a big problem in Ireland.

Ms Raftery said: “The number of people that have died by suicide last year, there was a decrease last year, but we have also seen the number of people accessing our service has increased.

Pieta House reveals one person a day in Ireland died by suicide in 2018

Hundreds of pairs of shoes placed on the steps of St Peter’s church in Drogheda today to remember those who have been lost to suicide to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Picture Ciara Wilkinson.

“So the hope is that more people are reaching out for help, that we are finally trying to break that stigma where people are actually feeling comfortable in actually asking for help when they need it, which is really important.”

Derek Devoy is a Kilkenny Taxi Driver and founder of Taxiwatch Ireland, a suicide prevention initiative within the Irish taxi community.

He wants people to seek training so they are prepared to help themselves and others in difficulty.

Pieta House reveals one person a day in Ireland died by suicide in 2018

Hundreds of pairs of shoes placed on the steps of St Peter’s church in Drogheda today to remember those who have been lost to suicide to mark World Suicide Prevention Day. Picture Ciara Wilkinson.

Mr Devoy said: “I would urge people to go and get training, it is free. There is a list of courses all over the country.

“People that aren’t affected by suicide, don’t know anything about it, so when it happens in their family they are completely shocked and they are taken aback by it.”

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