The Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention has said sustained funding is essential to implement the targets contained in key reports on preventing suicide. 

Geoff Day was speaking ahead of a day-long conference on suicide being held in Dublin.

He said that the funding of the Vision for Change and Reach Out reports is essential to address the deaths of more than 500 people every year by suicide.

Mr Day says concerns that the number of people who die by suicide is underestimated will be addressed in research being under taken by his office at the moment.

The number of people who self harm every year is estimated to be around 11,000, but international trends indicate that the actual figure could be four to five times higher.

Several hundred delegates opened the rally by holding a minute's silence in memory of those who have died by suicide.

The Action on Suicide Rally will be addressed by representatives of all the political parties and will be chaired by RTÉ's Miriam O'Callaghan.

Today's event is being organised with the help of 3Ts, an organisation setup to help prevent suicide through research, intervention and support.