ALMOST 650 healthcare professionals and community workers have taken part in educational programmes organised by the National Suicide Research Foundation since 2005.
Director of research at the foundation, Dr Ella Arensman, said the programmes had been shown to be hugely beneficial.
An independent evaluation of the programmes found that knowledge about symptoms of depression and levels of confidence in dealing with depressed or suicidal people had improved significantly following training.
Ms Arensman said the need for increased awareness of depression and suicidal behaviour was underlined by the high degree of under-diagnosis and under-treatment of depression.
“The reasons for this are varied, such as the lack of knowledge concerning diagnosis and treatment of depression, underestimation of the severity of the disorder and the public attitude or stigma around depression and suicide,” she said.
Those attending the programmes include healthcare professionals, social workers, guidance counsellors, teaches, members of the gardaí and priests.
She pointed out that a series of workshops entitled Building Awareness: an Important Step Towards Preventing Suicide would be held in the Imperial Hotel in Cork on Thursday – World Suicide Prevention Day.
The workshop will take place between 12.30pm and 1.30pm and an evening one takes place between 7.30 and 9pm.
Attendance is free.
* Anyone concerned about depression and suicide can contact the Samaritans at 1850 609090 and can also visit www.spunout.ie www.aware.ie or www.mentalhealthireland.ie.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved