Fine Gael councillor Ger Deere has welcomed news that the Government is to launch a nationwide suicide prevention campaign.
“For generations in this country suicide has been shrouded by a veil of secrecy and shame. With suicide on the rise, that has to stop,” Cllr Deere said.
“In 2011, 165 teenagers and young men took their own life in the Republic of Ireland,” he revealed. “Ireland now has one of the highest rates of suicide in Europe, and men are five times more likely than women to take their own lives.”
The downturn in the economy has impacted on suicide rates, a new study has revealed. “Common problems which impact on young men in particular include income, family and peer pressure, failure in school and low self esteem,” the councillor explained.
“I welcome news that the Government is to launch a national suicide prevention campaign. While there are services available for people suffering from mental health problems, there is a need for greater communication – both to the general public about the service’s ability to offer support, and between the services themselves.”
The Castlebar councillor concluded: “I commend all families who have been devastated by suicide who have had the courage to speak out about their experience. These brave steps are all playing their part in making us as a nation face our demons. I hope that the Government’s campaign will encourage debate at all levels about mental health and encourage people who aren’t feeling well to speak out and ensure they and their families get the help they need.”