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Thursday 22 February 2018

Media focus on suicide makes it 'seem appealing'

FF highlights danger of de-stigmatising issue

Suicide may seem "appealing and a viable option to vulnerable teenagers" because of media and public commentary on the issue, according to a new policy document drawn up by Fianna Fail.

"A common concern among many principals was that having called for so long for the de-stigmatisation of the concept of suicide, the pendulum had swung full swing to a state whereby the media and public commentary had inadvertently made suicide seem appealing and a viable option to vulnerable teenagers," says the document.

Produced under the supervision of Senator Marc MacSharry, it promises to compel banks to provide professional counselling to patrons with heavy mortgage arrears who face the prospect of losing their homes or businesses.

Entitled 'Actions Speak Louder Than Words', it also pledges that Fianna Fail would phase out advertising and sponsorship of events by alcohol brands that specifically target young people.

Ireland has the fifth highest rate of male suicides in the 15 to 29 age category.

The document says it is "no coincidence" that a rise in suicide rates has come at the same time as economic crisis.

"For middle-aged males, unemployment, social change, severe financial strain and the threat of losing their homes have taken their toll," it says.

"At the same time, young people are suffering the aftermath of budgetary measures.

"The economic climate has put significant stress on individuals, and recent studies suggest that individuals who struggle to pay their debts are more than twice as likely to suffer from serious mental health issues."

Irish Independent

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