Echo Opinion: It’s okay to say you’re not okay!

Echo Opinion: It’s okay to say you’re not okay!

LAST YEAR, there was 23 suicides in South Dublin, nearly two-thirds of all suicides in Dublin in 2015.

Next month, “Tallaght Talks” will be held in the Plaza Hotel. This one-day event will promote awareness of mental health services available to the community in Tallaght, and it aims to open up a dialogue on mental wellbeing and suicide.

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It is a dialogue that needs to be opened.

For far too long suicide has been swept under the carpet and seems to be a particularly Irish problem.

Some believe that our predisposition to mental illness is due to a collective memory of the horror of the famine. It is not as far-fetched as it sounds.

Others think the weather doesn’t help, along with the lack of light in the winter months.

Throw in our national love affair with alcohol, a depressant, and you have an explosive cocktail. Mental illness and the black dog does not discriminate. 

One of the first steps in dealing with mental health issues is acceptance. Accept that something isn’t right and you can start your recovery journey.

Early intervention is vital for tacking mental health issues. It is crucial to get the message out that it’s okay to say you are not okay.

One of the problems with suicide is that there is always more than one victim with every suicidal act. The suicidal may think the world would be better without them, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The emotional ripples from a suicide resonate for many years after.

While we should not be sweeping it away, we should not fall into the trap of becoming too accepting of suicide.

We have seen in our community the prevalence of suicide clusters where there are a number of suicides in an area in a particular time.

Of course we have free will but suicide takes too many victims and that it is not acceptable.

“Tallaght Talks” can be part of the fight-back against this scourge.

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