Ex-Min­is­ter for Men­tal Health

Hot Press - - 100 Voices On Mental Health -

I go to funer­als in Ire­land where peo­ple have died by sui­cide. It used to be that what had hap­pened was talked about only in hushed tones at the back of the church; that’s not the case any­more. I’m a great be­liever in ‘out loud’. The only way to get rid of the ghosts is to talk about it. We have to say to peo­ple who feel the only op­tion left is to kill them­selves, “Stop, talk to some­one. There’s help and sup­port avail­able to you.” It’s that ir­re­versible ac­tion, which I don’t think young peo­ple es­pe­cially un­der­stand en­tirely. You can’t have govern­ment on ev­ery street cor­ner though. It has to be a com­bi­na­tion of forces from the GAA and schools to or­gan­i­sa­tions like

Pi­eta House and, of course, govern­ment. We’re all stake­hold­ers in this.

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