Charity calls for national suicide prevention authority

AN Irish Suicide Prevention Authority needs to be established to stem the flow of suicides which could now stand at two every day.

Marking World Suicide Prevention Day, chairman of Suicide Prevention charity 3Ts Noel Smyth said a recent announcement of €1m for suicide prevention was inadequate and a “drop in the ocean”.

3Ts will stage candlelight vigils for those who have lost family, friends and colleagues through suicide in Dublin tonight at College Green between 8pm and 9pm, and in Galway at St Nicholas Collegiate Church at the same time. Another vigil will be held in Wexford between 8pm and 9pm at The Bull Ring in Wexford.

Recently released figures show a 24% increase in Suicide in Ireland between 2008 and 2009, and Mr Smyth said action needed to be taken to tackle the alarming rise in suicides here.

“Ireland has been slow to address the issue of suicide because it is still seen as a ‘second class’ death,” he said. “Three times more people die by suicide each year than die on our roads, yet funding for Suicide Prevention pales in comparison to the €40m afforded to the Road Safety Authority.

“We estimate there are currently two suicide deaths every day in Ireland at the moment.”

He said some organisations working in the area of suicide prevention had received funding cuts of more than 12%, yet demand for those services was increasing.

Further cuts had since increased pressure on services, he said, meaning it was now imperative that the Government step up its resourcing in this area.

“It is time for the HSE and the Government to take true stock of the situation and to implement every measure possible to prevent more lives being lost during the course of the next year,” he said.

“3Ts will be campaigning for the Government to establish a Suicide Prevention Authority and ask for the support of the general public in the achievement of this aim.”

* www.3ts.ie


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