independent

Friday 25 April 2014

New plan launched to address Kerry suicide rate

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch; Michael Fitzgerald HSE South and Dr Margaret Kelliher consultant Psychiatrist with the HSE. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Marisa Reidy

A COUNTYWIDE plan to address the startling rate of suicide in Kerry has been launched here to raise awareness of the supports available to people in crisis, while also providing practical help to people and families affected by suicide.

The new collaborative plan was launched by Minister of State at the Department of Health, Kathleen Lynch, on Monday in Tralee.

As part of the Kerry Suicide Response Plan, a countywide, local response professional team is now available in each of the large towns who will provide a timely response in the event of a suicide.

Key HSE frontline staff such as mental health nursing, child care, community workers and primary care staff as well as members of the clergy, gardaí and GPs have been identified to respond when a death by suspected suicide occurs, and will link with the appropriate voluntary organisations in the area to put in place the necessary supports required for the family, and the community, at the most appropriate time.

The purpose of each team will be to provide support and information and access to counselling for those who are bereaved following a suicide, as well as to organise ongoing support at community level for groups and individuals affected by suicide.

The plan was developed by the Kerry Suicide Response Forum, a HSE- led interagency partnership of 29 statutory, community and voluntary groups to address the issue of suicide and to promote positive mental health and suicide prevention in Kerry.

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