The alarming rise in Irish suicide has been highlighted by confirmation that one in four young people have felt suicidal in the past.
New findings suggest also reveal that one in five Irish teenagers have self-harmed.
The report into adolescent mental health suggests that Irish girls have battled psychological stress more than boys with nearly one in three admitting to feeling suicidal at some stage.
Unicef Ireland conducted the survey of 16 to 20-year-olds and found that:
- Half of young people surveyed reported that they had suffered from depression
- More than one in 10 said they suffered from anorexia/ bulimia
- More girls struggled with mental health problems, with 32pc saying they had felt suicidal compared to 24pc of boys
- Girls are also hit in higher numbers by depression, with 59pc suffering the condition compared to 49pc of boys
- Girls are also more likely to self-harm, 27pc of girls admit to this compared to 16pc of boys
- More girls suffer from eating disorders, nearly one-in-four girls had anorexia or bulimia compared to just two per cent of boys
The report also found that Irish youngsters are fighting ‘a series of problems including depression, feeling suicidal and eating disorders’.
It also claimed a clear link between bullying and serious emotional distress with two-thirds of young people who were bullied had suffered depression, self-harm and felt suicidal.
Unicef Ireland chief executive Melanie Verwoerd told the Irish Independent: “These results are disturbing and heartbreaking.
“The pain that many of the 16 to 20-year-olds experience is evident not just in the statistics but also in the comments made by many brave young people who took part in the survey.
“With one in every two young people reporting that they have experienced depression, the scale and importance of the task of promoting positive adolescent mental health should not be underestimated.
“This is a serious problem and should be dealt with as a matter of urgency. In many cases, individual young people experience the overlap of issues such as depression, eating disorders, self-harm, etc.
“This suggests that services which seek to promote and defend the right to positive mental health must be integrated and comprehensive in addressing the myriad needs identified by the young person themselves.”
One in four young Irish people contemplate suicide