The rate of suicide and self-harm fell last year but incidents of self-harm among homeless people has increased.

Provisional data from the Central Statistics Office show there were 392 suicides in 2017.

The figure is down slightly on the previous year and down 32% from the 576 deaths by suicide recorded in 2012.

Last year 79% of those who took their own lives were men and the highest rate of suicide was amongst men aged between 45 and 54 and women aged between 55 and 64.

New figures also show the number of people self-harming is declining.

9,103 people presented to hospitals nationwide due to self-harm during 2017.

The rate is 3% lower than the previous year and 11% down on the peak rate recorded in 2010.

But incidence of self-harm is 30 times higher among homeless people and the number of incidents of self-harm involving homeless people rose 13% between 2016 and 2017.

Overall the highest rates of self-harm were among young people, with a 21% increase in incidents involving this age group since 2007.

For the first time figures on self-harm in prisons were also published today.

The report showed that 138 prisoners self harmed during 2017, with the rate highest among female prisoners and those on remand.

Minister of State for Mental Health Jim Daly has said that he will not be seeking additional funding for suicide prevention in next week's budget.

Mr Daly said he was more interested in what is being done with the €1bn that is being spent in the area of mental health this year.

He said last year's budget provided an extra €55m for new developments, including the streamlining of services and the introduction of new technologies such telepsychology and telephyschiatry, and work on these is under way.

Mr Daly also said he believed the prevalence of mental health issues in our prisons is going to be "the crisis of our era" and the issue needs to be focused on.

The head of the Health Service Executive’s National Office for Suicide Prevention said that while the number of suicides continue to decline, the situation still needs to improve.

John Meehan said that while the office has had its budget increased by 100% since 2012, it still needs more funding and it is hopeful that next week's budget will give it the support to provide additional services.

He said the end of the recession and the increase in measures to reduce suicide has contributed to the decline and the focus now is on keeping these figures on a downward trend.

Mr Meehan said the increase in incidences of self harm among the homeless community is also reflected in the suicide rates and his office is working with the Simon Community to provide counselling on the streets to reach these groups.

Dr Eve Griffin, manager of the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland, said that while the number of cases of self harm is down, the number of young and homeless people self harming is on the rise.

Dr Griffin said the registry is treating the drop with caution as there has not been a return to pre-recession levels in relation to young people self harming.

She said it needed to further investigate why the age at which people are self harming is reducing.

She also said the fact that incidences of self harm among homeless people has risen by 72% over the past decade reflects the wider problem of homelessness in the population, but also shows that targeted interventions are needed for dealing with the "disproportionate" number of homeless people in self harm figures.