Press Release

Devins – Concerted Effort Required to Reduce Suicide

Reducing the suicide rate means a collective, concerted effort from all groups in society says new Minister of State for Health with responsibility for Disability and Mental Health, Dr Jimmy Devins, TD.

Dr Devins was speaking today, 26th August 2007, at the Town Hall Meeting on Youth Suicide, organised by St Vincent’s University Hospital in the Royal College of Physicians.

The Minister said that the meeting was an opportunity for both the public and the media to meet with and interact with those directly involved in suicide prevention research.

Emphasising the importance of exploring the reasons and ways of dealing with suicide and suicidal behaviour, Dr Devins said that “international evidence shows that reducing the suicide rate requires a collective, concerted effort from all groups in society – health and other professionals, social services, communities, community leaders, voluntary and statutory agencies”.

“It is important to identify ways in which we can reach out to those individuals and prevent the further tragic loss of life,” Dr Devins said.

Referring to “Reach Out” – A National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention and Dr. Devins said “a fundamental aim of this strategy is to prevent suicidal behaviour including deliberate self-harm, and to increase awareness of the importance of mental health among the general population”.

“In the light of the increased information around suicide prevention rates a target of a 10% reduction in suicide to be achieved by 2010 has been set. In addition, a target of a 5% reduction in repeated self harm by 2010 and a further 5% by 2016 was agreed”.

The Minister commended everyone involved in the organisation of the International Workshop and the Town Hall Meeting and also those working in suicide prevention and research.