World Suicide Awareness Day highlights the need for adequate funding for Suicide Prevention – BREEN.

September 10th, 2008 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen said that World Suicide Awareness Day (Wednesday, 10th September 2008) which is being marked throughout the World today highlights the need for adequate funding to be spent in Suicide Prevention. According to the latest HSE report published to coincide with today’s World Awareness Day Reach Out – the National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention.’ our rate of youth suicide remains the 5th highest in Europe with men under 35 accounting for 40% of Irish suicides. Deputy Breen claims that the Vision for Change which promised so much has been restricted in implementing its strategy for change because funding which had been allocated for the project has not been spent and in some cases has been allocated to other areas. He is warning that the Government that they must provide the necessary resources and that they should take the lead from other countries in putting in place suicide prevention programmes.

“Earlier this year during a debate on Youth Suicide in the Council of Europe I called for a Europe Wide Strategy to deal with this crisis. We must invest in our young people and our focus should be on early intervention and education. Any obstacles for implementing suicide prevention programmes must be removed and we must invest in helping our children who are most at risk.”

“Key to early intervention is ensuring that children have access to psychological assessments and services while still in education, yet when Vision for Change was published in 2006, €25m in annual funding was committed however only €10m was actually spent with the remained reallocated to other areas. The number of acute in-patient psychiatric beds for children is wholly inadequate there are only 20 to 25 in-patient beds in child and adolescent units throughout the country.
 

 

In 2005 there were 272 child admissions to these units, one of whom was just 12 years old. “

“Surveys show that 15% of people have a family member who died by suicide. Three out of four people know somebody who died by suicide and the person was most likely to be a friend or a neighbour. One in five of those who knew someone who took their own life said that it was a family member. It is clear that many of families and communities are living with the tragic consequences of Suicide and we must reach out to support and assist our young people, to work to restore young peoples self esteem and to provide the support for our young people to cope.”
 
“The neglect of the past ten years in dealing with this crisis must stop and the Government must provide the funding to put in place adequate.”
ENDS.