Thursday 18 October 2018

We have travelled far, but there is still a long way to go in suicide prevention

Fully-supported services for those suffering from mental health difficulties must be a priority, writes Dan Neville

Suicide prevention and fully supported services for those suffering from mental difficulties must be a priority. This is a posed photo
Suicide prevention and fully supported services for those suffering from mental difficulties must be a priority. This is a posed photo

Dan Neville

On July 1, 1993 - 25 years ago today - President Mary Robinson signed into law a bill to decriminalise suicide and attempted suicide.

Official deaths by suicide in 1992 were 311. The figure for 2017 was 392 deaths. 1993 was a different time in Irish society when suicide was the 'silent taboo'.

As a member of Seanad Eireann at that time, I introduced a motion that the Government allow a debate on decriminalising suicide. The debate was not granted. It would be unheard of at that time that suicide would be discussed in any public form.

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