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Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Suicide Prevention Strategy launched

The new Suicide Prevention Strategy ‘Connecting for Life’ has been launched Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch.

Dr Shari McDaid, director of Mental Health Reform, the national coalition on mental health, said, “It is positive that the strategy is described as a plan for the whole of Government because reducing suicide and self-harm requires action to influence the full range of health, social and economic factors that increase risk. Implementation of the strategy’s commitment to collaboration and coordination across departments will be key to its success.”

“In Mental Health Reform’s submission to the National Office for Suicide Prevention last year, we had recommended that the new strategy include a plan to ensure that 24/7 crisis intervention be available in every mental health service. The current lack of 24/7 crisis supports in some areas is an issue that people have raised again this year at our public consultation meetings and one which needs urgent action. An effective suicide prevention strategy depends in part on having well-resourced, good quality mental health services that are available and accessible to people at risk of suicide. I am pleased to see the commitment in the Strategy’s Action Plan to provide a co-ordinated, good quality 24/7 service. This commitment has already been made in the HSE’s service plan for 2015 and should be implemented this year as planned”, continued Dr McDaid.

“Finally, we welcome the commitment by the Department of Health to develop and implement a national mental health and well-being promotion plan. Promoting positive mental health and well-being is an important component of an overall plan to improve the mental health of the population and reduce suicide. We hope the Department of Health can set a timeframe for producing this plan soon,” concluded Dr McDaid.

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