Speaking in the Dáil this evening on a Sinn Féin Private Members Motion on mental health and suicide Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe said the recession and austerity policies have contributed to the mental health crisis and increased suicides.
Deputy Crowe said;
“Ireland is facing an epidemic or is in the middle of one.
“A European Child Safety Alliance report released in March found that Ireland has the highest rate of suicide in young females across Europe and the second highest rate of suicide in young males.
“The recession and austerity policies over the past six years have led to huge job losses, home repossessions, and homelessness. Men and women from all age brackets have been thrown in mental health crises due to these factors and many have ultimately died by suicide.
“There is not a family or community that hasn’t been rocked by suicide right across this island.
“So I want to send a clear message to anyone sitting in this chamber, in the visiting gallery, or watching at home – it’s okay to not feel okay.
“I have been to too many funerals of suicide victims that were hugely attended, and what everyone said was if only they knew how many people cared about them and were willing to help them in anyway.
“In the face of such an epidemic surely we should be massively investing in mental health facilities and suicide prevention programmes.
“The report of the Mental Health Commission says that only 44% of psychiatric hospitals and mental health facilities are compliant with staffing level regulations.
“Collectively we have all heard heart breaking stories of parents literally breaking down in hospitals and begging with staff to admit their child.
“Some turned away and now are no longer with us. Talk is cheap and deadly in this case. We need action and we need it now.”