Suicide and self-harm prevention charity Pieta says it has seen a significant rise in the number of young people coming to them for services.

Today is World Mental Health Day and there are a number of events and initiatives taking place around the country to mark the issue today and in the coming days.

Pieta said it has seen a significant rise in the number of young people coming to them.

It said demand for services for under-18s has increased by over 40% since 2020.

From January to June of this year, the charity said almost a quarter of clients under 18 have attempted suicide, while 86% of under 18s have experienced suicidal ideation.

Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and loneliness were the most common triggers for that age group.

Tom McEvoy, Funding and Advocacy Manager at Pieta said they have delivered over 8,000 hours of therapy over the last eight months to people 18 and under.

"It raises concerns in our society. There are a couple of reasons why, the pandemic certainly has not helped, people are living in much more isolated conditions, struggling with social networking," Mr McEvoy said.

He said they have seen an increase in their general therapy provision to all age cohorts.

"Not only do we offer face-to-face therapy, but we offer telephone therapy and video therapy which allows the wider society to connect with Pieta right across the country," he said.

"We are seeing a lot more older people connecting in with Zoom therapy and telephone therapy, which is great," Mr McEvoy said.

Meanwhile, the HSE said its YourMentalHealth website, which provides information on mental health supports and services, continues to see an increase in traffic with a 35% increase on this time last year.

Walk in My Shoes Ambassador Conor O'Keeffe says he experienced mental health difficulties in his mid 20s.

"I felt like I had to be up in cloud nine and on top of the world or else I was down in the doldrums and I could never just 'be'. Be in control of my own emotions," he said.

He said took the step of investigating his own mental health.

"I developed this concept of being my own best friend where I was not going to be my own worst enemy anymore," Mr O'Keeffe said.