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Middle-aged Men and Suicide in Ireland


O'Donnell S. and Richardson N.

Subject Keywords: Men's health, Mental health, Suicide, Self harm, Psychological support
Topic: Mental Health
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: All-island

Over the past ten years, the suicide rate among middle-aged men (40-59 years old) in the Republic of Ireland has been the highest of all age bands. The self-harm rate among this age group has also increased in recent years. This worrying situation is compounded by the fact

that, within this cohort of men, there are a number of specific ‘at risk’ groups for whom suicide and suicidal behaviour is more prevalent. These statistics are of particular concern to both the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) and the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland(MHFI).

‘Connecting for Life: Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide, 2015-2020’ identifies at risk demographic cohorts, and explicitly lists middle-aged men as being among the “groups for whom there is evidence of vulnerability to and increased risk of suicidal behaviour”. Thus, it is timely that the Middle-Aged Men and Mental Health Project (a three year initiative, led by MHFI and funded by NOSP) should seek to explore the factors underpinning the high suicide rate among middle-aged men in Ireland, with a view to providing more effective and gender specific programmes, services and resources to support their mental health and wellbeing in the future.

This project particularly focuses upon those sub-populations of men who are most vulnerable and at risk of marginalisation, and this report documents the findings from the research conducted in Year 1 which sought to:

• collate existing evidence on the mental health of middle-aged men in Ireland;

• offer an opportunity for men in this age band to have their say about the issues and challenges that impact on their lives;

• record the experience of service providers who work to support these men;

• explore mental health risk and protective factors for this age group;

• define the principles and dynamics of effective practice;

• highlight existing intervention models;

• make recommendations on how to improve the mental health of middle-aged men in Ireland.




Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

O'Donnell S. and Richardson N.. (2018) Middle-aged Men and Suicide in Ireland [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th October 2019].


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Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI)
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