Suicide booklet available in pharmacies

The Irish Examiner’s award winning Let’s Talk Suicide booklet is to be made available for free in pharmacies across the country.

The Irish Patients’ Association has funded a further reprint of the 32-page booklet, which will be distributed across 2,000 pharmacies by early June. More than 250,000 copies of the booklet have already been distributed.

IPA chairman Stephen McMahon said discussions are also taking place for potential high-street promotions of the publication, subject to local councils providing the relevant licence to allow the step to take place.

Mr McMahon said the information contained in the publication was all the more necessary now, with research repeatedly showing direct links between recession and increased suicide rates.

“I recall many years ago how someone very close to me died at their own hand, not because the patient wasn’t connected to the system, but because a registrar was not contactable to conduct an assessment prior to a day release.

“Each one of us has a role to play in protecting these vulnerable patients.”

He thanked the Irish Examiner for permission to reprint the booklet, and made special mention of his daughter Emma, whose fundraising efforts made the reprint all possible.

Originally published in Oct 2009, in conjunction with a 20-page special investigation Suicide in Ireland supplement, the Let’s Talk Suicide booklet provides information on the warning signs of suicide and where help can be found.

In addition, it underlines the need for people to talk about concerns they may have and also to listen to what others, in times of difficulty, are saying.

With the help of a panel of experts, the booklet also offers suggestions on how to help someone in crisis; how to talk to your children about suicide and how to discuss the loss of a loved one or a family member to suicide.

The wider Suicide in Ireland investigation, which saw over 250,000 copies supplied to various services nationally, won numerous awards since its publication, including Best Public Health Initiative and An Duais Mhór overall prize at the 2010 Irish Healthcare Awards; Best Health Communication Through Journalism at the 2011 Health Literacy awards; and National Consumer Print Journalist of the Year at the 2010 Irish Medical Media awards.


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