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Government must do more to support suicide prevention initiatives

3 April, 2007

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald MEP today met with Health Junior Minister Tim O’Malley to demand action on suicide prevention.  Speaking after the meeting Ms McDonald spoke of the tragedy of suicide across Dublin Central, in particular one small community in the constituency which has seen 17 deaths as a result of suicide over the last six years.’ Also on the Sinn Féin delegation were Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Joanne Spain – Dublin Mid West and Caral Ni Chulain MLA.


Ms McDonald said:


“Self-harm and suicide are huge problems across Irish society.  Suicide is one of the biggest killers of young people and action is required urgently.  In one small part of my constituency, there have been 17 deaths as a result of suicide over the last six years.  This is a terrible loss for that entire community and it is a disgrace that there has been so little support for young people in that area and their families.


“Among the issues which we put to the Junior Minister today was the need for additional funding for suicide prevention.  This year Mary Harney has allocated just  €1.85 million for suicide prevention, this compares very badly to the €18 million which has been allocated in Scotland.


“The government needs to treat this tragedy with the seriousness that it deserves.  Mental health services need to be improved particularly for children and teenagers and there is an urgent need for training initiatives for family doctors.”ENDS



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