Government inaction on suicide is ‘inexcusable’ says Kitt
By Kernan Andrews
It is “inexcusable” that the Government has failed still to fill the key post of Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention, according to a Galway East TD.
Fianna Fáil’s Dep Michael Kitt also criticised funding for suicide prevention as “disgracefully low” at a time when suicide has been on the increase. Dep Kitt quoted a statistic which has seen a 140 per cent surge in suicides in the State among males over the past 30 years.
“The allocation of just €7 million for suicide prevention this year is disgracefully low,” he said. “Preliminary figures show that 525 people died by suicide last year and it’s likely that the true figure is even greater. There is no community in County Galway or any part of the country untouched by the tragedy of suicide. It is a silent crisis that is wiping out the equivalent of a small village every year.”
Dep Kitt is calling on the Government to immediately fill the Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention post and prioritise suicide prevention in its budget.
“We need one authority overseeing all agencies in suicide prevention,” he said. “We need a 24 hour helpline and 24 hour access to social workers for Galway and for all parts of the country.”