July 24, 2012

                                                CORK SUICIDE Louise Cashell Icashell@corkindep8ndent.com A study conducted In Cork has Identified two male sui- cide clusters in the county.

The areas, which were not named, had a total of 19 suicides of adolescent and young adult males aged 14- 36 years. They all died be- tween September 2008 and December 2010. The report showed that, overall, 80 per cent of those who took their own lives were male.

The research was un- dertaken by the National Suicide Research Founda- tion (NSRF) which is based in Cork and was published in the First Report of the Suicide Support and Infor- mation System.

Within one family, three men aged 15-49 years took their lives within a pe- riod of 11 months. In addi- tion, two friends, who were both aged 47, took their lives within a period of four weeks and in another case three close friends died by suicide over an eight month period. The first two friends died by suicide within one month of each other and the third friend tried to rescue the second friend but failed to do so. He then in turn took his own life.

The study for the report was conducted in Cork over the period from September 2008 to March 2011 and information was obtained from different sources in- cluding information from coroners' records, family informants and health care professionals who had been in contact with the deceased in the year prior to death.

The report found that many of those who had take their lives had very se- rious issues with alcohol or drugs or both. Researchers found that in the year prior to death, alcohol and/or drug abuse was present in51.7 per cent of the cases.

Among those 78.1 per centabused alcohol in the yearprior to death while 34.4per cent abused both alco-hol and drugs. The reportalso showed that an in-crease in alcohol and drugabuse was observed in theyear prior to death for 29.9per cent.

Other findings of thereport found that: *61 per cent had a his-tory of mental disorder inthe family; *81 per cent had beenin contact with their GPor a mental health serviceprior to death; *46 per cent did notcomply with instructionson prescription medicationfor mental disorder; *68 per cent had ex-perienced suicidal behav-iour by femily membersor friends at some point intheir lives; *6S per cent had seri-ous relationship problemsthat lasted more than ayear.

In response to the sig-nificant findings linking al-cohol and drugs to suicidethe NSRF recommendedthat national strategiesshould increase awarenessof the risks involved in theuse and misuse of alcohol,starting at pre-adolescentage while they also recom-mend that national strate-gies should be intensifiedto reduce access to alcoholand drugs.

If you are experiencingsuicidal thoughts see www.

suicideaware.ie, phoneCork Samaritans on 1850-609090 or contact yourGP.