Suicide strikes 'out of blue' – Helen McEntee
FINE Gael TD Helen McEntee (inset) believes families must be made aware of the early warning signs of suicide.
Her father, the late Fine Gael minister Shane McEntee, took his own life a couple of days before last Christmas.
"Suicide is very uncertain and it scares people because people don't understand it and it can come out of the blue," she said on World Suicide Prevention Day.
"It's important to make people more aware of those signs because sometimes they can come on so quickly that you don't realise they are signs."
She was speaking at the launch of Pieta House's new suicide prevention initiative aimed at educating families in rural and farming communities on how to spot the early signs of severe depression.
"Life doesn't go plain sailing and sometimes people aren't able to deal with the stresses of life as well as others," she added.
The Rural Suicide Intervention Initiative will provide information on the early warning signs of suicide to families.
The initiative is part of Pieta House's Mind Our Men campaign, aimed at reducing male suicide in Ireland.
Eight out of 10 suicides in Ireland are male.
"Figures show that two-thirds of men that take their own lives have either tried before, have suffered from depression or mental illness," added Ms McEntee.