Press Release

Publication of the final report of the National Task Force on Suicide

Mr Brian Cowen T.D., Minister for Health and Children today (27 January, 1998) announced the publication of the Final Report of the National Task Force on suicide. The publication of the report represents a significant milestone towards addressing the growing problem of suicide and attempted suicide in this country and follows the publication of the Interim Report of the Task Force in August 1996.

Minister Cowen welcomed the national suicide prevention / reduction strategy prepared by the Task Force which will greatly facilitate the relevant services in dealing with this difficult problem. The Task Force embarked on a comprehensive consultative process, before outlining in detail in its Final Report the various measures which need to be adopted in order to address the high incidence of suicide in this country particularly among recognised risk groups such as young males between fifteen and twenty four years of age.

The Task Force recommends a comprehensive approach to tackle the circumstances that can result in persons taking their own lives. The key components of the overall strategy include:-

  • The implementation of measures aimed at high risk groups;
  • Provision of information and training on suicide prevention to relevant professionals and organisations;
  • The improvement of services which would benefit those at risk of suicide and those who attempt suicide.

Minister Cowen accepts the broad thrust of the Report and now plans to consult with his Ministerial colleagues with a view to the implementation of the Task Force recommendations. The Minister said:

“I attach great importance to the formulation of a suicide prevention/reduction strategy as outlined in this Report. In order to tackle this growing tragedy in our society it is essential that a clear, systematic approach aimed at the prevention of suicide and suicidal behaviour is put in place. “My Department will be immediately writing to all the Statutory agencies with jurisdiction in suicide prevention strategies, encouraging them to pursue the implementation of the recommendations in their respective areas as a matter of urgency. I have already instructed my Department to put in place a mechanism to co-ordinate and monitor progress in this area”.

He said “a real impact in lowering the incidence of suicide and attempted suicide will depend on co-ordinated action by a range of voluntary and statutory services to meet the challenge of this tragedy in our society”.

Mr Cowen thanked the members of the Task Force for the personal commitment and dedication shown in assisting in the preparation of this important Report.

Read the Report