This is the fourth Strategic Plan of the Mental Health Commission and covers the period 2013 – 2015. A Strategic Plan is an important guidance document that informs and directs the work of the Commission. This Plan has been drawn up against a backdrop of Public Sector Reform, the contraction of Public Sector expenditure and the requirement that services are maintained at the current level. The implementation of A Vision for Change continues to be a priority for the Mental Health Commission. Presently, the Mental Health Act 2001 is under review and the Commission expects significant changes to arise from the review.
A government report providing information on how much of the vision in the National Mental Health Policy has been fulfilled.
In communities across Ireland, suicide generates feelings of grief, apprehension and concern. For every Irish person who dies by suicide, many others attempt to end their lives, and many more suffer the despair that leads them to consider suicide. Historically as a nation we have struggled to talk openly about suicide and how it impacts on us. However, our national conversation is growing and we are becoming better at discussing and addressing issues relating to our mental health. It is essential that we maintain the momentum. Connecting for Life is a whole-of-society strategy to co-ordinate and focus our national effort to reduce the loss of life by suicide.
One of the benefits of such a monitoring system is in examining trends of self-harm rates over time. Ireland was profoundly affected by the global financial crisis, and experienced five years of economic recession, as detailed in the 2013 annual report. Data collected by the Registry during this time reflected the impact of the recession on suicidal behaviour in Ireland, and we saw a 12% increase in rates of self-harm during the period 2007-2012. These data mirrored a significant increase in suicide rates during this period. These findings have now been published in an international peer-reviewed journal (International Journal of Epidemiology).
In communities across Ireland, suicide generates feelings of grief, apprehension and concern. For every Irish person who dies by suicide, many others attempt to end their lives, and many more experience the despair that leads them to consider suicide. Historically, as a nation, we have struggled to talk openly about suicide and how it impacts on us. However, our national conversation is growing and we are becoming better at discussing and addressing issues relating to our mental health.
Considering that the rate of self-harm in 2013 was still 6% higher than in 2007, before the economic recession, this underlines the need for continued implementation and evaluation of programmes to increase awareness of mental health issues among the general public and professionals involved in supporting people who are unemployed and those experiencing financial difficulties.
This report by the Joint Oireachtas sub-Committee has, in contrast, set out recommendations, time frames and the funding required to make inroads into our national suicide epidemic. The Government is urged to cease prevarication and to implement these.
The increase in the number of people, particularly males, taking their own lives in Ireland in recent years is a major cause for concern. In 1998, suicide ranked as the fourth highest cause of years of potential life lost for males in Ireland, superseded only by deaths from circulatory diseases, cancers and respiratory diseases. In order to address this important public health problem, the Chief Executive Officers of the health boards commissioned a study from the Departments of Public Health, on the epidemiological factors associated with suicide.
What follows is a discussion of the issues presented at the seminar, copies of the presentations, and the policy recommendations made on the day by the seminar participants. It is the hope of Schizophrenia Ireland that the poverty dimension of mental illness becomes firmly set on the Irish policy agenda, gaining the prioritisation that it urgently deserves.
This report has been prepared by the Health Service Executive’s (HSE), National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) in order to meet the statutory requirements of the Health(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2001, Section 4
Suicide ireland is not affiliated, sponsored or in any way connected to any other body, group or organisation.
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