Ireland has an above average international suicide rate in the 15-19 age group

Ireland has the fourth highest teen suicide rate in the EU/OECD region, according to UNICEF.

The organisation's latest Report Card on child well-being has revealed that Ireland has an above average international suicide rate of 10.3 per 100,000 population in the 15-19 age group between 2008 and 2013.

This means that Ireland ranks 34th out of 37 wealthy nations surveyed in the report:

''Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries''.

UNICEF Ireland Chief Executive Peter Power, said:

''UNICEF’s latest Report Card serves as a wake-up call for Ireland. Despite economic recovery and the idea that the consequent rising tide will benefit everyone, it is clear children are experiencing real and substantial inequality and we risk leaving them behind. Services are inadequate in several areas and policy change is badly needed.''

The report also shows a worrying rise in self-reported adolescent mental health issues, showing that teenagers themselves reported concerns on their own mental health.

xThe report claims that 22.6% of children aged between 11-15, report experiencing two or more psychological symptoms more than once a week.

For some indicators, income inequality and adolescent self-reported mental health and obesity were the main focus in the report. The rate of obesity among 11-15 year-olds and the rate of adolescents who report that they are experiencing mental health issues, is increasing in the majority of countries.

According to In Tallaght, UNICEF has called for high-income countries to take action in five areas.

The first focuses on putting children at the heart of equitable and sustainable progress - improving their well-being to achieve both equity and sustainability.

The second states: ''Leave no child behind'' in that national averages often conceal extreme inequalities and the severe disadvantage of groups at the bottom of the scale.

Improve the collection of comparable data is the third action to take. This focuses on violence against children, early childhood development, migration and gender.

The fifth action - use the rankings to help tailor policy responses to national contexts and the fifth honours the commitment to global sustainable development.

Read other news on the city site of Dublin.

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