Emergency crews called to 142 suicide attempts in last year

EMERGENCY services were dispatched to attend a staggering 142 suicide attempts in Cookstown district last year, the Mid-Ulster Mail can reveal.

The figures, obtained from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), show that over 80 of the 999 calls to which ambulances or emergency vehicles attended were in relation to overdoses or “poisoning” attempts.

The other 61 incidents were in relation to another form of suicide attempt, recorded by the NIAS as “Psychiatric, Abnormal Behaviour and/or Suicide Attempts”.

The NIAS figures also show that in 2011, ambulance crews attended 99 incidents in Magherafelt town alone where a suicide attempt, abnormal or psychiatric behaviour was reported. 74 of these calls were in relation to an overdose attempt.

Also in Mid-Ulster 999 crews attended a total of 37 suicide, pyschiatric or abnormal behaviour incidents in Maghera of which 27 were overdoses or poisoning incidents.

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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