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Adams calls for all-Ireland Suicide Prevention Agency

7 April, 2011 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President and TD for Louth and East Meath Gerry Adams has today called for greater co-operation between the health services north and south in order to raise awareness around suicide prevention.

Deputy Adams also called for the establishment of a national – all-Ireland – Suicide Prevention Agency.

Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Adams said:

“Tá ardú an bhliain seo chaite ar an méid duine a chur a láimh ina bháis féin – suas go 500 duine ins na 26 chontae and suas go 300 ins na sé chontae.

“Cialláionn sé sin go bhfuair suas go 800 duine bás tar éis láimh a chur ina láimh féin agus na mílte eile a rinne féin díobháil dóibh féin.

“Tá géarchéim náisiúnta, uile Éireannach é seo.

“Tréaslaíom an obair atá déanta go dtí seo ag na teaghlaigh, ag na heagraisí, scoileanna, múinteoirí agus oibritheoirí ins na seibhísí sláinte.

“While suicide is now better understood than before, the fact remains that there is not sufficient funding for dealing with mental health issues.

“One way of tackling this issue, particularly at a time of recession, would be to provide for greater co-operation between the health services north and south.

“In the north there is a Suicide Prevention Strategy Implementation Body and a regional strategy on suicide which has resources ring fenced. There is also and Executive Sub Group. In the south there is a National Office for Suicide Prevention and a strategy. But funding in both states on mental health and suicide prevention are inadequate for the scale of the crisis involved.

“What is needed is a national – all-Ireland – Suicide Prevention Agency that brings together all of those bodies and strategies, and has effective and dedicated funding and resourcing. It should also have the ability to be cross-departmental, as well as cross-border.

“Such a body, working through, perhaps, the North South Ministerial Council, and answerable to both Health Ministers, could make a real dent in the growing numbers of suicide.

“The reality of the situation is that we don’t have a choice – this issue needs to be tackled as a matter of priority. It is this type of imaginative proposal that has the potential to make a real difference and I would urge the Government to take it on board.”

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