Sir, I was heartened to read during the week that the number of suicides among some categories of people is down by a few percentage points on last year.
But a statistic, however reassuring, can't cloud over the grief and irreplaceable heartbreaking loss visited on the families of those who took their lives. Nor should it remotely be seen as a cause for complacency. Maybe more people are now listening and realise there is an alternative - always - to self destruction.
Too many lives have been cut off and too many families blighted by this tragedy. If everyone kept a look out for friends and relatives they believed to be going through a bad patch, it would help. Too often we hear that nobody knew the person had reached such a low point, or was suffering in silence.
It's good to know that there are people who can genuinely help anyone contemplating suicide. It's not just a slogan or a desperate attempt to deter self-killing. Help is really only ever a phone-call away. What seems an insoluble problem or an insurmountable challenge right now can be tackled in all sorts of ways.
Suicide is never the answer. It doesn't solve anything. Instead it just piles on the pain for loved ones as well as adding to the long list of victims and gravestones.
Any suicide is one too many. The rescuing of people from that unnecessary, pointless death that devastates the living should be a major priority for the State and a life-enhancing objective for everyone. In the words of an old Jewish proverb (quoted in Schindler's List): "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire".
Lower Coyne Street,