Two tragic deaths highlight need for out-of-hours services

By Maurice Garvey

TWO tragic deaths in Ballyfermot over Christmas, have once again highlighted the need for out-of-hours mental health services, according to Sinn Féin Councillor Daithí Doolan, reports Maurice Garvey.

A 22-year-old male from Kylemore died by suicide on December 15, and a young woman from Cherry Orchard also died by suicide on Christmas Eve.

Ballyfermot sign

In December, hundreds of people from Ballyfermot and the Liberties held a protest march to the steps of City Hall to highlight the lack of out-of-hours mental health services.

Cherry Orchard resident Lisa Palmer, a special needs assistant, generated over 4,000 signatures going door-to-door in Cherry Orchard and Ballyfermot, in an effort to “increase pressure on authorities to provide 24/7 out-of-hours mental health services in the community.” Cllr Doolan said the need now is “urgent to respond as a community.”

“The high number of suicides in Ballyfermot goes against the national trend. We need a dual-diagnosis approach with services for mental health and drug use. Nobody is judging. If that service is open 24/7, persons or family members could have access to it.

“The HSE have shown they don’t know how to deal with it, they say they can’t. You break your arm and you can access an A&E but if you have a mental health issue, it better be between 9am to 5pm or you are in trouble.”

You can also access free, 24 hour helpline support by calling the Samaritans’ freephone number on 116 123, or find your nearest branch on www.samaritans.org.

Pieta House can be contacted on 1800 247 247, while children and adolescents can call Childline on their freephone number 1800 66 66 66.

 

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