about us
peer education
pregnancy services
health promotion
sexual health

Suicide attempt every 45 mins
By Deborah Condon

At least one Irish person attempts to commit suicide every 45 minutes, Young Fine Gael (YFG) has said. It has just launched a major campaign aimed at drawing attention to the issue of suicide among young people.

According to the latest figures available, 1,015 people under the age of 35 committed suicide between 1999 and 2003. Suicide is now the biggest killer of people in the 15 - 34 age group, accounting for one-quarter of all deaths.

However since 1997, the Department of Health's mental health budget has been reduced from 11% of overall health spending, to 6.9% in 2005. Furthermore the recommendations of the National Taskforce on Suicide, which was published in 1998, have still not been implemented.

"The increasing number of attempted suicides and deliberate self harm are alarming and simply unacceptable", said YFG executive member, Conor Cresham.

The YGF campaign to highlight youth suicide is called 'Talk'. YFG is calling for a national advertising campaign to address the stigma of mental health problems and suicide and encourage affected young people to seek help.

It is also calling for:

-The immediate implementation of a national support service, to include sufficient funding for all voluntary groups involved in this area.

-The provision of a tracking and long-term support service for those who present at A&E and/or GP surgeries, having attempted suicide or self harm.

-A national strategy to coordinate suicide prevention needs.

-The provision of training for second level teachers, to help them to detect suicidal tendencies in pupils.

-Immediate increased investment in the mental health sector.