Press Release

Minister Lenihan Launches the National Youth Federation´s Suicide Resource Handbook and Dealing with Suicide: An Information Pack.

There is increasing recognition, both nationally and internationally, of the need to address mental health as an integral part of improving overall health and well being. Minister Brian Lenihan said today (26 February 2003) at the launch of the National Youth Federation´s Suicide Resource Handbook and Information Pack ´Dealing with Suicide´. The Minister congratulated the Southern Health Board and the National Suicide Review group for their work on the project and highlighted the importance of the link between the voluntary and statutory sectors in tackling the issue of poor mental health among the Irish population.

The information resources being launched today highlight the growing concern about poor mental health in young people and more importantly the greater numbers committing and attempting suicide. There is a need to intensify efforts in relation to suicide prevention and positive mental health promotion programmes. The resource and information pack being launched today provide a significant contribution to this area.

Mental Health promotion is important for all of us and is not something that should be thought of as just being for those who may have developed identified mental health problems – the Minister said. He emphasised the need to change the way mental health is perceived if we are to be successful in combating these problems. “The responsibility for promoting positive mental health does not rest with the health sector alone but also with schools, the youth sector, the workplace and the community” he said and called for continued work on community based initiatives while congratulating the National Youth Federation on their work in this area.

The Minister reiterated the government´s commitment to tackling the issue of poor mental health and more importantly to the promotion of positive mental health as confirmed in the Health Strategy “Quality and Fairness” and the National Health Promotion Strategy, 2000-2005.