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Pat Buckley TD calls for major investment in suicide prevention and wellness training

10 September, 2018 - by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Pat Buckley TD has called for upcoming Budget 2019 to include a major investment package for improving and increasing access to suicide prevention and wellness training programmes. He made this call as the world marks International Suicide Prevention Day.

Deputy Buckley said;

"We have a range of very serious and dangerous problems facing our mental health services due to decades of neglect. We have nearly 3000 children awaiting their first appointment for mental health care, we have no state wide model for 24/7 crisis services or even a 7-day-week at community level.

"In terms of staffing levels, recruitment and retention remains a major issue and in some cases are getting worse.

"In the next few weeks we will be putting it to the government what we believe can be done in the coming year to turn back the tide on these problems.

"Today as we mark International Suicide Prevention Day, I would like to request of the Minister and the government to seriously consider greater investment in the National Office of Suicide Prevention and the provision of ASIST and safeTALK training programmes.

"These programmes provided by trainers on a group basis are vital in providing people in their personal and professional life to identify suicide risk factors in their friends, family or colleagues and to act responsibly to provide support and de-escalate potentially tragic situations.

"These skills are shown time and time again to save lives and they can be taught to anyone in a relatively short training session or a two day course in the case of more advanced intervention strategies.

"I believe these skills should be readily available to whoever wishes to be taught them and in particular provided to teachers, Gardai, front line public sectors workers, youth workers and in third level institutions."

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