Three people a day are now committing suicide in Ireland with police and support groups monitoring known blackspots.
Irish suicide helpline ILife has revealed that it is struggling to cope with the near one hundred calls a day it is taking.
The group has confirmed it received over 33,000 pleas for help in the past 12 months as the suicide rate rises dramatically.
Experts fear that as many as 1,000 people will commit suicide in Ireland in 2012.
The situation is so bad that police are watching known suicide spots like the quays in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford.
The Irish Independent also reports that sea cliffs in Clare are under surveillance in a bid to thwart the growing numbers.
Corkman Pat Buckley, founder of the charity Let’s Get Together, spoke to the paper of his fears for the year ahead.
"The problem with the suicide statistics is that they take about two years to compile and even then they are relatively inaccurate and under-report the true scale of the problem,” said Buckley.
“The problem is now so serious it is terrifying. We’ve battled to raise $7,000 in funds and it was spent on counselling in just a few weeks over November and December.”
Having lost his brothers Mark and James to suicide almost 10 years ago, Buckley understands the problem better than most.
He also believes the real suicide rate in Ireland is higher than the 527 recorded in 2009 and the 600 in 2010.
“The tragedy is that I believe we will see over 900 suicides in Ireland this year, almost three suicides for every day of the year,” added Buckley said.
Ireland’s Central Statistics Office confirmed to the Independent that men were four times more likely to die by suicide than women, with males aged 15-24 the highest risk category.
In County Clare alone, suicide accounted for 10 times the number of deaths from fatal road accidents last year with 19 deaths by suicide compared with two road deaths.
Well known Clare based consultant psychiatrist Dr Moosajee Bhamjee told the Independent that the rise in suicide numbers is ‘shocking and frightening’.
The former politician said: “I believe that the effect of the recession is only adding to the numbers committing suicide.
“The official numbers taking their own lives is always under-reported and I believe that you can add 20 per cent to the official figure.”
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