Support services for anyone at risk of suicide or self harm remain open over Christmas period

Provisional CSO data for 2014 has suggested a decreasing trend in the rate of suicide in Ireland

CSO, figures, data, suicide, prevention, HSE

The Samaritans can be contacted for free on 116-123. Image: RollingNews.ie

The HSE's National Office for Suicide Prevention is reminding people that support services will remain open over the Christmas period.

Volunteers are manning the Samaritans 24-hour helpline, and anyone can call for free on 116-123.

Anyone in crisis is urged to get in touch with a hospital emergency department or an on-call doctor.

HSE NOSP spokesperson Gerry Raleigh says the level of demand for The Samaritans helpline and other services is continually rising.

"It's encouraging that now people are asking for support," Gerry said. "They get that listening ear, and they also get a point of direction of where to go next".

The were 487 deaths by suicide in 2013, representing a 10% decrease on 2012 figures.

Mr Raleigh said that "while it is too early to draw positive conclusions, provisional CSO data for 2014 suggests a decreasing trend in the rate of suicide in Ireland. We are also encouraged by the increase in people accessing supports available to them".