This represents the highest number of registered deaths by suicide within the last seven years.
Mr Durkan said that inaction at Stormont sanctioned by the DUP has undoubtedly been a contributory factor.
In September 2022, in response to an Assembly Question tabled by the MLA for Foyle, Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed that the rollout of a strategy to prevent suicides, the Protect Life 2 Suicide Prevention Strategy, could not be implemented in the absence of an executive.
Said the Foyle MLA: “These figures are deeply concerning and my thoughts are with the hundreds of bereaved families who have lost a loved one to suicide.
“Suicide rates for both men and women have been on an upward trajectory in recent years. Mental health support services are massively stretched and struggling with the weight of demand.
“Much needed, promised resources has gone undelivered resulting in individuals being unable to access support as and when they need it.
“It is unforgivable that Protect Life 2, a life-saving strategy and delivery of post-vention services for bereaved families, has become yet another casualty of the DUP sanctioned stalemate of our institutions.
“This vital suicide prevention strategy was hard-won after years of campaigning from myself and many others, to tackle the epidemic of suicide and its devastating impact within our communities.
“We can’t forget the fact that it had already suffered a three-year delay, sitting gathering dust in the department of health following the previous collapse of Stormont.
“The failure to deliver on these promises is indefensible.
“The North continues to stand as the region with the largest numbers of deaths by suicide across the UK.
“The high rates of deprivation and inequality here continue to be driving factors of and associated with suicide.
“The reality is that without a government in place to cushion people against the cost of living emergency, those inequalities will only deepen.
“There are many organisations working extremely hard on the issue of poor mental health; but we need to see the delivery of Protect Life 2 to ensure that lives are saved.
“People are desperate, crying out for support and lives are being lost.
“Meanwhile, the DUP continue to uphold their abhorrent dereliction of duty, leaving vulnerable individuals and their families, without essential protections,” added Mr Durkan.Tags: