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Suicide figures demonstrate that 24/7 crisis intervention services is essential – McDonald

14 October, 2016 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin all Ireland spokesperson on mental health and suicide awareness Deputy Mary Lou McDonald expressed her concern at the figures released today for deaths by suicide and self-harm for 2013.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“The figures released today in the report by the National Office for Suicide Prevention on the number of deaths by suicide in 2013 make grim and stark reading. 

“487 deaths by suicide is a shocking figure, as is the high percentage of death by suicide amongst males.

“Unfortunately, the reality is that accurate figures for death by suicide are extremely hard to obtain. Many other cases of death by suicide have been recorded as accidental death when the individual may have died by suicide.

“The only way you can get real figures and a true insight as to the actually rate of death by suicide is by listening and talking to the families who have lost loved ones.

“According to the National Office for Suicide Prevention in 2013, 8,790 individuals presented with self-harm at hospitals around the country.  Accident and emergency departments do not offer appropriate care or follow up for those in acute mental distress. 

“What is required is the provision of 24/7 crisis intervention services when people most need help and which would offer adequate care saving people’s lives.

“Last Wednesday, I sought a cross-party commitment to such 24-7 crisis intervention services, an implementation plan and the delivery of the plan.   Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and those independents who supported the government voted against the private members motion. 

“The sad reality is that without adequate resources and the provision of proper services for those in acute mental distress, the figures for death by suicide and self-harm will only continue to increase.” 

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