EIGHT TIMES the number of men took their own lives compared with the rate of female suicides in Ireland last year, according to newly-released statistics.
Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show there were a total of 392 suicides in Ireland last year compared with 399 in 2016.
Of the 392 deaths by suicide reported in 2017, 79% were men.
John Meehan, HSE Assistant National Director and Head of National Office For Suicide Prevention & Mental Health Strategy & Planning, said:
"These downward trends are welcomed, but suicide remains a complex issue requiring evidenced and targeted approaches and interventions across many different sectors.
"Connecting for Life, our national strategy to reduce suicide is now in its most effective period of implementation. Our focus in 2017 and ongoing, remains supporting, informing and monitoring the strategy's collaborative implementation".
According to the National Office For Suicide Prevention's annual report for 2017, the highest rates of suicide were observed among men aged between 45 and 54 and women between 55 and 64.
HSE also revealed over 9,000 people were admitted to hospital due to self-harm in 2017.
The figures coincide with the release of a new report from the National Self-Harm Registry which shows there were 11,600 presentations to hospital due to self-harm in Ireland.
These involved 9,103 different patients.
Despite that number representing a 3% decrease on the 2016 figures, the rate of self-harm among young people remains a concern.
Over the past decade, the rate of self-harm among this group has increased by 21%.
Commenting on the findings, National-Self-Harm Registry Ireland manager Dr. Eve Griffin, said:
"The increase in self-harm among young people signals an unmet need in terms of mental health services for children and adolescents.
"Effective interventions are needed for young people at risk of self-harm. School-based programmes to promote positive mental health should also be a priority."