The National Office for Suicide Prevention has said it will launch a new free-call number next month, to make it easier for people going through difficult times to find support services.

It will be an initiative run with the Samaritans.

The office also plans to increase the number of suicide prevention resource officers around the country from ten to 16.

Over €8.8m will be spent on suicide prevention this year, with €6m going to statutory services and over 30 NGOs.

It will also provide training for over 10,000 people in suicide prevention programmes, which are offered free of charge.

A national social marketing campaign will be run in the autumn outlining where help can be found and there will be a national online educational service on suicide prevention for GPs.

Gerry Raleigh, director of the office, said that ten people die in Ireland due to suicide each week.

He said that reducing the incidence requires efforts at every level in society and in every community.

Mr Raleigh said providing one free-call contact number for accessing suicide prevention support will help reduce confusion that may exist with so many support organisations.

He also said there may be some organisations providing clinical services that are not being overseen as safe and evidence-based.

The office has advised people to go to trusted suicide prevention services.