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Government must make suicide prevention a priority – Ó Caoláin

7 April, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Speaking in the Dáil Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on the Government to make the awareness and prevention of suicide a priority.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“By far the greatest tragedies in this economic crisis are the tragedies of people taking their own lives. We can never fully answer the question of why individuals choose suicide but I know of cases where financial pressure pushed vulnerable people to the ultimate extreme of suicide.

“Clearly, the recession is making a severe problem even worse. But this problem is not, of course, primarily related to recessionary conditions.

“The Government review of mental health legislation is especially important. Health legislation should be strengthened to ensure that it is firmly based on the rights of patients to adequate care and that the obligation on public health services to provide care is clear and based firmly on laws and regulations that can be implemented effectively.

“I would urge the Minister and the Minister of State to set out, at an early date, how mental healthcare fits into the proposed health reform programme of this Government and to make the awareness and prevention of suicide a priority.”

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