Government must deal with the impact of austerity on mental health – Maurice Quinlivan TD
Sinn Féin TD for Limerick and party spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation Maurice Quinlivan has called on the government to deal with issues of structural inequality. Speaking during debate on the Sinn Féin motion on mental health, Deputy Quinlivan said:
“Research by the National Suicide Research Foundation on the impact of the recession and austerity has found that since 2007 self-harm rates and suicide rates have increased significantly.
“The research also found that where a person lives has an enormous impact on the rate of suicide.
“For example, my own constituency of Limerick City recorded an average rate of suicide of 17 per 100,000 people over a fourteen years period.
“The national average is 11.8 per 100,000.
“On the other hand, the rate of suicide is almost half the national average in affluent areas with an average rate of 6.7 per 100,000 recorded for the Dublin region of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown over the same fourteen year period.
“Clearly, socio-economic factors such as unemployment, poor housing, disadvantage, and a deep sense of disempowerment and lack of opportunity all lead to poor health.
“Therefore efforts to deal with structural inequality are of the utmost importance if we are to address the issue of mental health. Let’s not beat around the bush – poverty causes ill health.
“It goes without saying the government should implement a Vision for Change.
“At the very least, I am calling call on them to ensure voluntary organisations like Limerick Suicide Watch, and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue are properly resourced”.