Press Release

Minister Moloney Welcomes Additional Funding for Suicide Prevention

1September 2010

Mr John Moloney T.D., Minister for Disability and Mental Health today (Wednesday 1st September, 2010) noted the publication of the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) Annual Report for 2009. The Report details the initiatives by the NOSP, HSE staff and many community and voluntary groups around the country who are working in the area of suicide prevention and are bringing forward ideas and initiatives to tackle this very serious problem. The Annual Report also contains the latest data on suicide from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and data on self harm from the National Suicide Research Foundation.

The Minister expressed his disappointment in the latest suicide figures which show a 24% increase in the number of deaths by suicide, from 424 in 2008 to 527 in 2009. The Minister said “The Government decided today to provide additional funding of almost €1million from the Dormant Accounts funding to a range of suicide prevention measures. This is a sign of the Government’s firm commitment to reducing the number of deaths by suicide, as part of a whole community effort to ensure that people in distress do not feel isolated and alone. The increase in suicide rates is a matter of concern for me and for the Government and we must, I believe, redouble our efforts to reduce the incidence of suicide and make every effort to reach out to people in despair. The tragedy of suicide affects every community in the country. I recently met with the National Office for Suicide Prevention to consider what measures can be taken to counteract this worrying trend and to ensure that we are maximising the available resources”.

Speaking today, Mr Pat Carey T.D., Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs (whose Department administers the Dormant Account funding) said: “While acknowledging the seriousness of findings of today’s report, it is timely that the Government has today approved over €1m in funding under the Dormant Accounts Fund for this programme of suicide prevention measures. The initiatives being funded will help communities to develop integrated local action plans for suicide prevention and will enhance the ability of communities to prevent suicidal behaviour at all levels of risk, and is consistent with “Reach Out – the National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention (2005)”.

Minister Moloney concluded “Earlier this year I was pleased to launch the National Stigma Reduction Campaign ‘See Change’ which aims to reduce the stigma people feel and to encourage them to seek help. It aims to inspire people to challenge their beliefs about mental illness and to be more open in their attitudes and behaviour. It will also encourage people to support a friend or loved one who is experiencing a mental health problem”.

Background

The funding announced today will allow communities to develop suicide prevention initiatives and which will assist them in preventing suicidal behaviour at all levels by providing for example places where people can access support and information such as youth cafes; networks of carers and supporters in the community that can respond to signs of risk by completing ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) or SafeTalk (suicide awareness training programmes); and suicide bereavement support information, outreach and counselling services to support families and communities when individual tragedies occur. This approach will enhance the ability of communities to prevent suicidal behaviour at all levels of risk and is consistent with Reach Out: the National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention (2005)and will complement the national work undertaken by the NOSP.

Name of Group County
HURUMA  Ltd  t/a Wellsprings Cork
Northside Partnership Ltd Dublin 17
L.inC (Lesbians in Cork) Cork
Tallaght Travellers Youth Service Dublin 24
The Base Ballyfermot Youth Centre and Childcare Facility Dublin 10
Waterford Area Partnership Waterford
Westmeath Community Development Ltd Westmeath
Donegal Women’s Network Donegal
North Kerry Together Ltd (Ciarrai Thuaidh le Cheile Teoranta ) Kerry
Foroige Dublin 12
Open Heart House Dublin 7
Pieta House Limited Co. Dublin
Suicide or Survive Co. Dublin
The Deora Project Dublin 1
Youth Work Ireland Galway/ T/A Galway Regional Youth Federation Ltd. Galway
Foroige Dublin 12
Finglas Suicide Network Dublin 11
Carrick on Shannon Family Life Centre Committee Leitrim
School St and Thomas Court Bawn Family Resource Centre’s service Liberties Counselling Dublin 8
Roscommon Lions Club Roscommon
Northwest Roscommon Community Development Project /Ballaghadereen Mental Health Association Roscommon
North Dublin Befriending Service Dublin 7
County Wexford Partnership Limited Wexford
The Roscommon Partnership Company Ltd Roscommon
Console Dublin 9
Ossory Youth (Lifeline Kilkenny) Kilkenny