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Adams backs suicide prevention campaign

17 May, 2007


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has backed a campaign launched today by the Action on Suicide Alliance which calls on political parties to give a commitment to implement suicide prevention measures if elected to Government.

Mr. Adams said:
"Ireland has the second highest incidence of suicide in Europe. More than 500 people die each year and more than 10,000 people present at A&E due to self harm. It is one of the biggest causes of death of young people in the country.
"The government has completely failed to deal with this crisis and the result is that for many people who are at risk and their families, there is not appropriate help available. This year Mary Harney allocated just a miserly €1.85 million for suicide prevention, this compares very badly to the €18 million which has been allocated in Scotland. The fact is that there are not enough services available, when and where they are required and this is due to the chronic shortage of resources.
"Mental health services need to be dramatically improved particularly for children and teenagers and there is an urgent need for training initiatives for family doctors and guidelines for A&E personnel responding to patients presenting with deliberate self-harm or acute suicidal behaviour. We are also committed to ring-fencing 12% of the health budget for mental health and will guarantee that sufficient resources are available to implement an all-Ireland suicide prevention strategy. We are committed to supporting community based initiatives which are making a real impact and to further investment in clinical and community-based research on suicide prevention." ENDS

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