Does Cork need a dedicated suicide prevention officer?

4 June 2015
By Bryan T. Smyth

Sinn Féin Cllr Mick Nugent has called on the City Council to establish the position of Suicide Prevention Officer

It would be the responsibility of the officer to liaise with suicide prevention groups throughout the city and assist city council in the fight against suicide.

Cllr Nugent was speaking from Brussels where he attended a series of round table meetings with representatives of the European Commission as part of an Irish delegation on mental health arranged by Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada.

The delegation was made up of participants from organisations such as participants such as Pieta House, Mental Health Ireland, Action Mental Health, SOSAD, 3TS and Mental Health reform. They were joined by practitioners, advocates and campaigners, academics, individuals involved in promotion and prevention, and those with personal experience of mental illness.

Cork City based organisation Shine-A-Light was represented on the delegation by Mrs Ann Long.

Cllr Mick Nugent (SF)

Cllr Nugent said;

“Listening to the personal stories from those on the delegation gave us valuable insight into the human-side of the suicide crisis in Ireland – the people behind the statistics.

“I have previously called for a national suicide authority to be established in order to devise and implement an all-iIreland strategy for suicide prevention. It is a clear that the state’s response to the crisis have been inadequate. It must be seriously improved.

“I think it would be a major step forward for Cork City Council employ a suicide prevention officer who would liaise with suicide prevention groups throughout the city and assist such groups in accessing city council as a resource in the fight against suicide.

“The officer would also work with the relevant state agencies, such as HSE, in developing a closer and more integrated relationship with City Council in the area of suicide prevention.

“I have submitted a motion calling on Cork City Council to consider establishing the a suicide prevention office. The motion will come before the next meeting of Council on Monday night. I am hoping that all parties will recognise the value of such an initiative and support the motion.”

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