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Ruairí Ó Murchú TD calls for special Dáil sitting on mental health

23 May, 2020 - by Ruairí Ó Murchú TD

The tragedy and pain of suicide was raised in Leinster House last week by Deputy Ruairí Ó Murchú following the death of a young man in Dundalk.

The Sinn Féin TD used his time during questions to Health Minister Simon Harris to appeal to people who were feeling low to reach out and get help.

Mr Ó Murchú said:

"The sadness and devastation of suicide has touched our community in Dundalk this week with the death of a young man who I knew and I wish to express my sincere sympathies to his family and friends.

"Unfortunately, it is a situation that has been endured by families in Louth and right across the country for many years.

"The message needs to be that suicide leaves nothing but pain and unanswerable questions and is often permanent solution to a temporary problem’.

"The lockdown has exacerbated the pressure people are feeling.

"I want to let them know that there is help out there for them."

He appealed directly to families who are worried about a loved one. 

"They should engage with the person concerned, ask them about how they are feeling, ask if they feel like ending their lives and contact the services immediately’, he said.

"Sometimes, the last people you want to talk to when you are going through a bad time are those you love the most, but there are services available; there are people like Pieta House, like SOSAD in Louth, and the Samaritans.

"These are the organisations who step into the breach like many other NGOs when the State services are lacking. Make contact, tell them how you feel or tell them you’re worried about a loved one. They will help."

The Louth representative echoed calls made by his party colleague, Mark Ward TD, for a special sitting of the Dáil to focus on mental health and for the reconvening of the Committee on the Future Provision of Mental Health Supports.

He asked Minister Harris for an immediate plan to deal with the mental health crisis in the short-term ‘as people head into the tenth week of lockdown’.

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