500 signatures reached
To: To: The Minister for Mental Health and the Irish government
Stop the unnecessary loss of lives in Ireland!
We are calling on the Irish government to allocate increased funding to the mental health sector. Specifically, we urge the government to support us in addressing the alarming increase in deaths through suicide by providing more staff in the mental health sector, by making it easier for people to access dual and aftercare services and by supporting both individuals and volunteer groups who are currently lending their time and energy to preventing further loss within their local communities through suicide.
Why is this important?
Many lives are being unnecessarily lost in Ireland every year due to the lack of proper services to cater for mental health. This gap in service provision has led to many people presenting to our psychiatric hospitals being turned away, resulting in these individuals resorting to self-harm or worse – taking their own lives. There was no psychiatric nurse available in Tullamore hospital this week. Furthermore, those waiting to access mental health services can expect a wait of between 6 and 12 months, and there are no aftercare services for people coming out of mental health services in Portlaoise.
Another little-known issue that needs to be highlighted is that currently there are no “dual services”. This means that should a person present with intentions of suicide, but have taken alcohol and/or other substances, they are advised to seek addiction counselling or enter rehab before their mental health will be assessed. Many lives have been lost owing to this alone. I have emailed Minister of health the details of this issue and am awaiting a response.
We the people of Offaly are calling on our representatives in the Irish government to allocate more funding to the mental health sector. As well as increased hospital-based services, we call on the government to invest additional time and money into educating the public and increasing general awareness about the importance of looking after our mental health. Such funding should also be used to alleviate staff shortages in Offaly and across the country. We in Offaly believe that mental health should be taken as seriously as physical illnesses or injuries.
We also ask that our government supports volunteers on the ground who are currently giving much of their free time and energy to helping to prevent suicide in their local communities. Volunteers are not a substitute for professional services but when the two are enabled to work alongside each other, there is a better chance of helping individuals and of decreasing suicide and self-harm.
Please take this petition seriously. Remember, it is possible to prevent people taking their own lives. We have the power to protect this and future generations from the devastation caused by suicide