Twelve suicides in borough during the past month

The 12th suicide victim in the greater Craigavon area during the past month was laid to rest on Monday.

The increase in suicides has moved Craigavon to third place in Northern Ireland, behind Belfast and Londonderry.

Social psychiatrist Arthur Cassidy, chairman of the group, Yellow Rainbow, which analyses the causes and seeks a reduction, said that the reasons were many and complex.

“I am not commenting on any individual cases,” he underlined. “In recent years, it was mainly young men, but the age range is getting higher, with a significant rise the males in their 30s and women in their 40s.”

He added that increased use of alcohol, financial pressures and loneliness - especially in family and marital break-ups in the run-up to Christmas - were among the main reasons in the older population. And peer pressures, allied to cyber bullying in the younger age group, were prominent causes.

“Men tend to end it all on an impulse,” he added. “But it is a more gradual process with women, like a series of overdoses. The reasons are exacerbated coming up to Christmas and the statistics show a significant increase from last year, especially in the older age group.”

Anyone in distress should Google the Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Programme or ring the local Samaritans on Portadown (028) 3833 3555 for someone to talk to immediately.