Cork County Council Call For National Suicide Prevention Agency

By Seamus Whelehan

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Councillor Noel Collins has backed a call for the establishment of a national suicide prevention agency.
The Midleton based Cllr gave his full support to a motion tabled by Cllr Joe Harris at the January sitting of Cork County Council, seeking the establishment of an agency similar to the Road Safety Authority.
The Social Democrat said such an agency could help raise awareness and provide help for those in need of it.
He said a co-ordinated response by frontline services such as the Gardaí and GP’s in addition to voluntary bodies would “help raise the profile of mental health and get the message out that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, that things will pass.”
The call for a national co-ordination agency comes after, almost 80% of GP’s say they have lost a patient to suicide, and almost as many (68%) say that it has adversely affected them.
The study carried out by the National Office for Suicide and the Irish College of General practitioners also found that 81% had not under gone a suicide prevention training programme.
Of those who had, they felt they had a positive attitude towards suicide prevention, although 2% of GP’s said there were additional supports at their practice, when a person dies by suicide.
While 15% said they had access to additional services, with 31% stating their practice had a personal liaison with a psychiatric service.
Cllr Collins told the full sitting of council people must speak and talk about their feelings.
“Social breakdown and feelings of depression can be cured if people would only bid a person the time of day, or a brief comment when passing could prove a life saver, and brighten the spirits of many a depressed person.”

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