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Adams Calls for All-Ireland Suicide Prevention Strategy by Governments

23 May, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has called for an all-Ireland strategy by the Irish and British governments to tackle the increasing numbers of people becoming of victim of suicide and self-harm.

While welcoming efforts by Rehabcare, an NGO, to establish a 26 county Suicide Prevention Service Mr. Adams said:

"The scale of suicide and self harm in Ireland is a national disaster requiring a national response. However helpful initiatives like that being undertaken by Rehabcare are intended to be they cannot meet the needs of the current situation.

"In 2003-2004 there were 577 reported suicides - more than the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the same period.

Mr Adams also welcomed the demand from the north's Commissioner for Children and Young People, Nigel Williams, calling for more resources targeted to deal with the provision of mental health services for children and young people.

Mr Adams said:

"The fact is that mental health services north and south are grossly underfunded. I believe that the only sensible response to this deteriorating situation is for suicide prevention to become an area of co-operation under the Good Friday Agreement and that the Ministers for responsibility in both parts of this island meet to agree, and promote a strategic approach to suicide prevention across the entire island." ENDS

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