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
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
-The provision of training for second level teachers,
to help them to detect suicidal tendencies in pupils.
-Immediate increased investment in the mental health