This paper examines perceptions regarding rural male suicide and the preventative services available in Co. Kilkenny to combat the problem. For every four male suicides, there is one female suicide. The problem is becoming a rural rather than an urban one. The research set out to identify gaps in services and existing policies in addressing suicide among young rural men. Data were obtained from interview with the service providers and also from focus group discussions with young rural Kilkenny men. Total participants in the focus groups were 15 young men. Limitations to this study centred around the difficulty of organising young men to take part in the focus discussion groups. Many official organisations in Co. Kilkenny were approached but no focus group was forthcoming. The one official group that took part was through Macra na Feirme. The other three focus groups that were gathered came from personal contacts. However, even through these channels many potential groups in the end did not materialise and for the groups that did materialise many of the young men did not turn up. Overall the general feedback from people in their resistance to coming together was
that the topic was a deterrent to them.
The research shows that none of the service providers have a specific focus on the problem of suicide among young rural males and that a National Prevention Strategy is yet to be presented by the National Task Force on Suicide. The prevention services available at the moment are not seen as relevant to young men. They need to become more acceptable especially to those in the high-risk categories. More research needs to be conducted to find the reasons why young rural men are committing suicide so that suitable service responses can be created.
Butler, Louise and Phelan, Jim
"Perceptions Regarding Male Suicide and Preventative Services in Co. Kilkenny,"
Irish Journal of Applied Social Studies:
1, Article 5.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/ijass/vol6/iss1/5