Press Release

Minister O’Malley launches findings of survey – Public Attitudes to Suicide commissioned by the Irish Association of Suicidology

The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Tim O’Malley, T.D., today (Wednesday 1st November) launched the findings of the survey – Public Attitudes to Suicide, commissioned by the Irish Association of Suicidology.

The survey was carried out by Millward Brown IMS in Northern Ireland and the Republic. Minister O’Malley noted that it is an excellent opportunity to discuss the future direction of the suicide initiatives North and South.

Minister O’Malley drew attention to the recent launch of the ‘Media Guidelines for the Portrayal of Suicide’. “The media plays an important part in raising awareness about suicide and suicide prevention and in changing the stigma and attitudes to both suicidal behaviour and mental illness”, the Minister said.

The Minister noted that suicide affects all age groups and communities in our society. Few people escape being touched by the devastating effects of suicidal behaviour in their lifetime and the emotional, social and practical repercussions of suicide are felt by family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. One of the findings of this survey is that 74% of respondents in the South and 59% in the North knew someone who died by suicide.

Minister O’Malley said “I recognise the many challenges that lie ahead and I am aware that there are no easy interventions that will bring a guarantee of success. We all have our part to play in helping those who may experience and face adverse events in life, and emotions and feelings so strong that they consider taking their own lives. We must aim to provide accessible, sensitive, appropriate and, where required, intensive support”.