Council to tackle high suicide rate in Cork

Cork County Council is to tackle the growing problem of suicide, after it emerged double the number of people died by their own hand than were killed on the county’s roads.

Cllr June Murphy (SF) called on the council to follow the lead of Tipperary County Council, which is to appoint a suicide prevention officer.

She pointed out that Cork County Council has a dedicated road safety officer, whose job it is to create safer roads.“In 2013 there were 42 residents of Co Cork who died as a result of suicide. In the same year 20 people died on the city and county’s roads,” Ms Murphy told a meeting in County Hall.

She said in the same year there were 18 recorded suicides in Tipperary and as the problem was even larger in Cork it was time the council stepped in to help.

Ms Murphy said the council should create an anti-suicide forum, bringing together voluntary groups to create a proper strategy to deal with the issue.

Her motion was seconded by Cllr Noel Collins (Ind), who for years worked as a social worker, and described it “as a silent killer in communities” where the most at risk were males aged 15-35.

“Although various organisations are fighting it, a lot more needs to be done on the ground,” he said.

Cllr Ian Doyle (FF) said tremendous work was being done by a number of voluntary groups in the county and agreed more was needed “to back them up.”

Cllr John Paul O’Shea (Ind) said he’d definitely support idea of a dedicated suicide support officer as there was a huge lack of investment in suicide prevention nationally.

Council chief Tim Lucey said a national suicide prevention plan is currently being developed and councillors might be better to wait and see its outcome. He said the council would play its part and that maybe the HSE could engage with the council’s local community development groups.

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