THE MINISTER OF State with responsibility for mental health and disabilities does not believe that suicides have gotten “out of hand” in Ireland.
Despite figures by the Suicide Support and Information System that showed there were 307 suicide cases recorded over a four year period and 80 per cent of them were men, Kathleen Lynch said the numbers “fluctuate” depending on “circumstances and particular events”.
She also disagreed with the coroner for west Limerick who said earlier this year that recording the level of suicides “doesn’t serve anyone“. The law prevents coroners from recording suicide as an official verdict, but Brendan Nix said he did not see the benefit in doing so.
“I understand where he [Nix] is coming from, I don’t necessarily agree with him.”
She said it was important to get the correct information in order to tackle “what is a very serious problem in the country”.
For incidents like “clusters” proper recording of information is “invaluable” and “the more information we have the more we can deliver a service that’s evidence-based,” she added.
The junior minister also believes that attitudes are changing towards suicide and remembered a time years ago when it used to be “whispered about at the back of the church” but now the “priest often mentions it [suicide] during the Mass”.
“I think the stigma is going… There is more of a mature attitude now.”
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