Dan Neville, President and Co-founder of the Irish Association of Suicidology opens annual conference in Co.Kildare
President and co-founder of the Irish Suicidology Association and TD for Limerick, Dan Neville, opened the 19th annual Irish Suicidology Conference and discussed this year’s theme of cherishing the young, ‘Suicide Prevention and Young People.
“The suicide rate among teenage girls is higher in Ireland than in any other state in the EU, in fact it is almost two and a half times the average rate. The suicide rate among young men is the second highest. This must change.
“A study of 27 EU Member States plus Iceland and Norway found that Ireland has the second highest level of deaths by intentional injury.
“Suicide at any age is a tragedy but this year’s conference looks in particular at suicide among people and the steps we can take to prevent it. Awareness is at the centre of suicide prevention and we are also calling for a comprehensive suicide prevention programme for children, adolescents and young adults. This programme would equip young people with the tools they need to deal with problems and difficulties in everyday life.
“This year the Government published Connecting for Life, Ireland’s national strategy to reduce suicide from 2015 to 2020. I was happy to contribute to this strategy which involves preventative measures and raising awareness with the population as a whole. The strategy is a whole of Government strategy which will extend across all areas to achieve high quality standards of practice across service delivery areas.
“Implementing this strategy will be a challenge but one that we must take on with vigour to prevent suicide among our people, especially younger people. The range of suicide prevention services available has developed significantly over the years but it is only by pooling expertise and resources that we can continue this great work.
“I look forward to engaging with all of those involved with or working within the suicide prevention area. We must continue to strive for improved services and to raise awareness of mental health.