EMERGENCY services were dispatched to attend a staggering 136 suicide attempts in Magherafelt district last year, the Mid-Ulster Mail can reveal.
The figures, obtained from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), show that over a hundred of the 999 calls to which ambulances or emergency vehicles attended were in relation to overdose or “poisoning” attempts.
The other 37 incidents were recorded by the NIAS as “Psychiatric, Abnormal Behaviour and/or Suicide Attempts”.
The NIAS figures show that in 2011, ambulance crews attended 99 incidents in Magherafelt town alone where a suicide attempt, abnormal or physciatric behaviour was reported. 74 of these calls were in relation to an overdose attempt.
In Maghera 999 crews attended a total of 37 suicide, pyschiatric or abnormal behaviour incidents of which 27 were overdoses or poisoning incidents.
In Cookstown, 142 calls were attended in relation to attempts at suicide, abnormal or physciatric behaviour. Most of these calls, 81 in total, were overdose or poisoning attempts.
In response to a Freedom of Information request on suicide attempts and emergency call outs, a spokesperson from the NIAS provided data relating to responses which arrived on scene including multiple attendances by resources such as RRVs (Rapid Response Vehicles) and ambulances.
The NIAS added that a “suicide related call” may have been coded “clinically as something else depending on the information provided at the time of receiving the call” but they could not provide that data.
The NIAS added: “We do not hold information on whether these acts were intentional or accidental.”
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