Toll of Teen Suicide Revealed as 23 Pupils Take Their Lives; Lack of Funding: Child Mental Health Services Are 'Sporadic'
Byline: YVONNE TARLETON
TWENTY-three children committed suicide in the last schoolyear,accordingto a report from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS).
The service met last week, and heard that its psychologists were called in todeal with more than 100 critical incidents during the last school year.
These included 23 suicides, 24 road traffic accidents and nine murders.
The service, which is operated by the Department of Education, offers supportfor all schools and communities that experience incidents of a critical nature.
Earlier this year, a report by the Department of Health and Children indicatedthat suicide accounted for 22 per cent of all deaths in the ten to 17 age groupin 2004.
The study also found a much higher suicide rate amongst boys, with six suicidesfor every 100,000 children, in comparison with girls where there were twosuicides per 100,000.
The report also demonstrated that in the 15-19 age group, the male suicide rateis six times higher than the female one.
GeoffDay,whoisheadofthe National Office for Suicide Prevention, said that Ireland has the seventhhighest youth suicide rate in the European Union.
He also suggested that the school psychologists' figures are likely tounderestimate the problem, as many of the teenagers who have committed suicidemay have left school and therefore were not included in these statistics.
Mr Day pointed to exam pressure, parental expectations, gender issues, bullyingand relationship problems as the primary reasons contributing to the highsuicide rate.
Meanwhile, according to a report published yesterday by the Mental HealthCommission, 154 teenagers were admitted to adult psychiatric facilities in thepast ten months. …