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We need to put mental health on the agenda of the 32nd Dáil

Over the past three weeks, 550 candidates have been trying to persuade a job interview panel of roughly 1million people that the role of TD should be theirs.

They are undertaking this mass job interview under the glare of the media. And their interview has lasted (at least) 22 days.

So, mental health should be key for general election candidates.

Yet mental health has been relegated in the main political party manifestoes and in the public debates.

This, despite the fact that in the next 24 hours 50 people will be admitted to a mental-health in-patient unit.

More shockingly, this will be a re-admission for two-thirds of them. Statistics suggest that a million Irish voters will be affected by mental-health difficulties. Suicide or Survive is working to build a society in which people embrace their wellness and in which people with difficulties are treated with dignity and respect.

While mental health was the ‘Cinderella’ of the health service for too long, in recent years we have seen more public discussion about the issue and more investment.

The only way to maintain progress is to continue building on the active-collaboration model, involving all stakeholders and people who have mental-health difficulties.

Anyone wishing to truly represent constituents in the 32nd Dáil must keep it on the agenda.

Caroline McGuigan

CEO and Founder

Suicide or Survive

Stonebridge Close

Shankill

Co Dublin


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