independent

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Candlelight vigil by suicide charity

GOVERNMENT SLAMMED FOR RESPONSE

IT'S TIME we had a government that took suicide seriously, the broadcaster and journalist Olivia O' Leary told a candlelight vigil in Wexford last week.

Ms. O' Leary was a guest speaker at the vigil in the Bullring which was organised by the Irish suicide charity 3Ts (Turn the Tide of Suicide).

She said we know that in most cases of suicide, there is an underlying psychiatric problem of some sort. And yet in this country with its alarming increase in suicide rates - a 25% increase last year alone-there has been a continuing drop in the expenditure on mental health.

For anyone who has tried to access the public mental health system, the realisation comes very fast that it is at best a skeleton service heavily reliant on the voluntary sector, a service often in name only, with long delays for diagnosis and treatment and very little emergency provision, she said.

'Where's the urgency? Where's the concern? We have had three action plans on suicide prevention published over the last eight years -some only partially implemented, some hardly implemented at all'.

'It's time we had a government which took suicide as seriously as it takes zombie banks. We've got to protect the banks, they say. Let's remind them of something they shouldn't need to be reminded of: first we've got to protect the people'. said Ms. O' Leary.

The vigil was also attended by Denis O'Connor of Console and Joe McAvin of 3Ts who both spoke about the need for ongoing support for suicide prevention services in Wexford and the south east.

The event is held annually in Wexford to allow family and friends to come together to remember those who have lost their lives through suicide and to raise awareness of the need for suicide prevention locally and nationally.

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