Five-year-old 'was considering suicide'
A suicide prevention charity has been contacted by a mother seeking help for her five-year-old child after the youngster said they wanted to take their own life.
Peter Moroney, who founded Save Our Sons and Daughters (SOSAD) after he lost his son Simon to suicide in 2003, said 72pc of people seen by the charity are assessed as being at risk of taking their own life.
And there is no age group that is immune to the suicide crisis. Last year the oldest person the charity helped was 85, while it was also contacted by a mother concerned about her five-year-old.
"We do not deal with anybody under 14 years, but I put her in touch immediately with a child therapist," Mr Moroney said.
He added that fear of losing their home is now a "massive" factor in why people are seeking help from SOSAD. "Now that the election is over, people fear that a stay of execution on them being evicted is over. They are telling us that they fear they will lose their homes now. It is a terrible indictment of the society we are living in."
However, SOSAD, which provides more than 200 counselling sessions a week at its Drogheda office alone, is currently only solvent until the end of this month.
The charity also has offices in Dundalk, Navan, Cavan, Carrickmacross and Tullamore and sees 400 clients a week.
"We are struggling and we always have one eye on our finances. I said when I began SOSAD that I wouldn't let anybody down and I won't," said Mr Moroney. "Nobody funds us...We struggle day to day."