Jim McLaughlin, a Donegal Town community activist, has called on the government to focus greater financial support towards community organisations who are are at the front line assisting families and individuals. His call out comes following a recent announcement by the HSE of further cuts to services in the West.
Mr McLaughlin told the Donegal Democrat: “At a time when the community is in most need, when individuals and families are dealing with the ongoing crisis, the HSE have announced a 5% budget cut to services in the West. This comes at a time when the HSE are already cutting mental health services such as admission beds, staff and doctors.
“Figures for this year so far show that, on average, three people take their own lives each day within the Republic of Ireland. If this figure remains consistent for the remainder of the year, approximately 1,000 people will die as a result of suicide by the end of this year.
“The Irish Suicide Prevention Helpline has also reported that they receive approximately 100 calls per day.
“The figures are stark but there are many groups and individuals working within the local community to support and assist people who find themselves in crisis. There are great programmes being provided and new initiatives being developed. These will require support and assistance from the Government if they are serious about tackling the increase of suicide in our communities. While everyone recognises that money is scarce, I believe that existing funds should be redirected and redistributed to provide these essential services.”