Gallagher death sparks call for more mental health services

A youth organisation is today calling on the Government to honour its commitment to set up primary mental health care facilities for young people.

The call from Spunout.ie comes after 15-year-old Shannon Gallagher, from Co Donegal, took her own life on Wednesday - less then six weeks after her 13-year-old sister Erin also died by suicide, amid allegations that she had been bullied online.

In its Programme for Government, the Coalition ring-fenced €35m for mental health services for young people.

Ireland has one of the highest suicide rates in Europe, and communications officer with Spunout.ie, Ian Power, said that it is imperative that young people feeling depressed get early intervention.

"There's a myriad of complex reasons as to why somebody would feel that taking their own life would be he only solution to their problems," he said.

"What we would say to young people is that suicide is final - it’s not something that you can recover from.

"So what we're saying to young people really is to seek out help, there's a lot of help available, and there's a lot of people willing to listen if you're ready to talk."

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