Calls to increase suicide budget

MORE lives are lost annually to suicide than tragedies on our roads — but the budget to reduce road traffic deaths is eight times higher.

Currently, the budget for suicide prevention is less than €5 million compared to €40m for road safety measures.

To highlight suicide awareness one young Dublin woman has organised a music night to raise vital funds for charity and have the Irish Examiner’s award-winning 32 page Let’s Talk Suicide booklet reprinted.

Emma McMahon from Killiney, who recently lost an aunt to suicide, said the facts she read in the booklet struck a chord with her.

The 22-year-old said: “It prompted me to do something to raise suicide awareness.

“When I read the Let’s Talk Suicide booklet and saw the comparisons between the road traffic and suicide prevention budgets, I knew I had to act.

“It doesn’t seem right that less is spent on suicide which claims nearly 600 lives every year,” she said.

“While I was in school, nobody was talking about depression or suicide and noticing the warning signs early, which are so important. So, I decided to organise a music night in the hope of raising enough to get the booklet reprinted and sent to pharmacies, GPs offices and schools.”

The Suicide Prevention Charity Music Night, which takes place at Leopardstown racecourse on April 1, will include performances from Conor Brennan and Kildare band Seven Days, who won the Hot Press Tiger Untamed band competition in 2010.

The night will also feature a raffle and proceeds from the night will go to the Irish Patients Association and Aware.

Emma added that the support for the music night has been “phenomenal” so far.

“Suicide can affect anyone — all my friends were willing to help out with the fundraising and we have been offered prizes to give away in a raffle too,” she said. “If we can raise €10,000 we will make enough to get the booklet reprinted, and we also want to give a donation to Aware for the great work they do.”

The music kicks off from 10pm at Club 92, Leopardstown racecourse.

The night is over 21s only and admission is €12. Tickets can be bought on the door.

* www.aware.ie www.irishpatients.ie

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