47. KATHLEEN LYNCH
Ex-Minister for 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.