The local suicide rate looks set to be one of the highest ever recorded after it was revealed that a total of 59 people committed suicide in the first nine months of 2015 in the Southern Trust area.
The figure, which was revealed at the Northern Ireland Assembly was the second highest in Northern Ireland after the Belfast trust’s total of 73.
Local rates have been rising alarmingly since 2012, when there were 46 recorded suicides, and this year’s figure looks likely to break last years high of 59 deaths, which was the second largest amount since records began in 1997.
Worryingly, the Dungannon District has one of the highest suicide rates in Northern Ireland with 17 recorded deaths in 2014, the highest ever, and more than three times the previous year’s total.
In global terms, the figures place Northern Ireland in the top quarter of the international league table of suicide rates. More people have died since the Good Friday Agreement than during the Trouble.
Experts have identified adults who as children had lived through the worst period of Troubles-related violence (1970 to 1977) as the most vulnerable age group.