Press Release

Alcohol Abuse May Be Contributing To Suicide Deaths – Minister O´Malley

“The increasing levels of alcohol consumption particularly by young people may be contributing to suicidal behaviour throughout the country,” says Tim O´Malley TD, Minister of State in the Department of Health and Children.

“Suicide is a serious social problem in this country. There were 448 deaths from suicide in 2001. This represented a increase of 35 on the 2000 figure of 413. These figures highlight the need to intensify our efforts and to put resources in place for suicide research and suicide prevention programmes,” said the Minister.

Considerable progress has been made to date in the implementation of the recommendations of the Report of the National Task Force on Suicide. In this regard over €8million in total has been provided since the publication of the Task Force Report towards suicide prevention and towards research aimed at improving understanding of this issue. Additional funding has also been made available to further develop child and adolescent psychiatry, adult psychiatry and old age psychiatry services to assist in the early identification of suicidal behaviour and to provide the necessary support and treatment to individuals at risk.

Many of the recommendations of the Task Force, however, require continuous development particularly in the area of training and in the development of services relating to suicide and suicide prevention.

“I am fully committed to supporting suicide prevention programmes and the Health Strategy Quality and Fairness A Health System for You, published last year, includes a commitment to intensify the existing suicide prevention programmes over the coming years,” said the Minister.