The circumstances surrounding death by suicide can give us insight into the factors affecting suicide risk in particular regions. Aims: This study examined gender and circumstances surrounding death by suicide in Northern Ireland from 2005 to 2011. Method: The study analyzed 1,671 suicides (77% male and 23% female cases) using information contained from the coroner’s files on suicides and undetermined deaths. Results: Hanging was the most common method and more than one third of the deceased had prior suicide attempts. There was evidence of alcohol use in 41% of the cases. Only, 61% of cases had recorded adverse events; most had multiple and complex combinations of experiences. Relationship and interpersonal difficulties were the most common category of adverse event (40.3%). However, illness and bereavement, employment /financial crisis, and health problems were also common. One third of those who died by suicide were employed, compared with 50.3% who were not in employment. Just over half (50.1%) were known to have a mental health disorder. Conclusion: The results provide the first profile of deaths by suicide in Northern Ireland. They highlight the need to target people who have difficult life experiences in suicide prevention work, notably men, people with employment, financial and relationship crises, and those with mental disorders.
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