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Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD calls on minister to respond to suicide epidemic in Ballyfermot

10 July, 2019 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South-Central Aengus Ó Snodaigh today called on the government to immediately and adequately fund a multi-agency community-based response to prevent further suicides in the wake of several tragic deaths of young women in the Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard area.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Teachta Ó Snoadaigh said;

“The level of suicide is at near epidemic proportions in this area with over 20 deaths in the last two years. The profile of those dying is different to elsewhere, with 50%  being women, often many with young families and often dying a violent death.

"Many, not all, of those who took the tragic decision to end their lives prematurely had been addicted to drugs such as weed, benzos, cocaine and increasingly of late crack-cocaine.

“These deaths have hit the community like a tornado and left families and the community in mourning and appealing for urgent help. The local support services are overwhelmed and crying out for more resources to help those in distress, those at risk of suicide.

“I call on Minister for Mental Health Services and Minsiter for Drugs Services Catherine Byrne who lives in the constituency to visit the area, to meet with the services such as Star and Familibase who are struggling to cope and to resource the multi-agency approach to suicide and mental health issues which this epidemic demands.

"At present the local drugs taskforce and community groups cannot cope without additional resources so they can support grieving families, those at risk of suicide and the community in general.

“While acknowledging that there is no instant quick-fix to the the rise in suicide in this area or anywhere in the country, there is a need for the roll-out of programmes such Safetalk, Storm, and access to other mental health services in the community on 24/7 basis.”

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