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Crowe calls for Government funding for suicide prevention phone-lines

3 March, 2008

Speaking at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on the need for greater financial resources for suicide prevention phone-lines Sinn Féin representative Seán Crowe highlighted the wide gaps in services and urged the new Minister Jimmy Devins to fund groups like Teen-line as a matter of urgency.

Seán Crowe said, This week the residents of Fettercairn will be burying a 19yr young man from their community who decided to take his own life. There is crisis happening throughout Ireland and every week more and more families are being affected.

"It affects all classes, rich and poor, young and old, boys and girls, men and women, people of all shapes and sizes, the intelligent and the intellectualy challenged.

"Suicide is not painless. It leaves behind nothing but grief, sorrow, confusion, bitterness and lasting regrets.

"I am proud to be a patron and associated with Teen-line the confidential free-phone help-line. It operates on Wednesdays 3-6pm Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays from 9pm till 12 midnight and it has recently extended the service to Sunday.

"The majority of funding is raised by Teen-line. If it was supported and funded properly by Government could operate on a weekly basis.

"Recently a volunteer related to me some of the difficulties and frustrations she experienced with on and off nature of the service.

"After spending the night talking to a 14yr old youngster who was suicidal she had to wait a number nights for the phone-lines to come back on, to find out that the child was alive and had decided to seek active help and support.

"Everyone agrees that these preventative phone-lines do help people and have saved lives. Government needs to actively support and give mainstream funding to groups like Teenline.

"The phenomena of self harm and suicide are growing throughout Ireland. We need new strategies and supports and funding is an essential element of that. This urgently needs to be addressed." ENDS

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