Press Release

Minister Jimmy Devins addresses the National Office for Suicide Prevention’s third Annual Forum

‘‘We as policy makers working in the area of suicide prevention need to foster a culture where people in distress, at whatever stage in their lives, won’t hesitate to seek help,’’ – Devins

Dr Jimmy Devins TD, Minister for Disability and Mental Health, today (9th April) addressed the National Office for Suicide Prevention’s third Annual Forum in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.

Speaking at the event Minister Devins said, ‘‘this forum provides an opportunity to meet and exchange views and to look at practical ways of tackling the issue of suicide to prevent the further tragic loss of lives. I am particularly pleased that the theme of this year’s Forum is “Young People’s Perspectives on Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention” and listening to what our young people have to say on this issue.’’

Minister Devins continued, ‘‘there are many pressures facing our young people in today’s Ireland – pressures such as bullying, emotional distress, addictions, peer pressure and exam pressure. It is only by taking on board what our young people have to say that we can gain true insights into how those pressures can be alleviated.’’

The Minister congratulated the Young Social Innovators from St Joseph’s Secondary School in Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath who made a presentation to the Forum on ‘Feeling Low, Let Someone Know’. In addition Headstrong, the National Youth Mental Health Centre, made a presentation on ‘Youth Mental Health in a Changing Ireland’ which helps inform the debate on mental health and suicide prevention.

Minister Devins concluded, ‘‘we as policy makers working in the area of suicide prevention need to foster a culture where people in distress, at whatever stage in their lives, won’t hesitate to seek help, a culture that recognises the signs and signals of distress and is willing to help, and that focuses early in life on developing good coping skills and avoiding harmful practices.’’

Read the full text of the Minister’s speech