Samaritans welcomes Ireland’s new National Strategy to Reduce Suicide 2015-2020

The national suicide reduction charity, Samaritans has welcomed Connecting for Life, Ireland’s national strategy to reduce suicide. Connecting for Life follows Ireland’s first suicide prevention strategy Reach Out which was created in 2005.

Connecting for Life takes a whole-of government approach to suicide prevention and recognises the need for a coordinated response from different sectors of society and collaboration between government departments, state agencies, NGOs working in the area of suicide prevention and local communities.

This strategy sets seven goals to reduce suicide in Ireland:

1. Better understanding of suicidal behaviour

2. Supporting communities to prevent and respond to suicide behaviour

3. Targeted approaches for those vulnerable to suicide

4. Improved access, consistency and integration of services

5. Safe and high-quality services

6. Reduce access to means

7. Better data and research

Catherine Brogan, Executive Director of Samaritans Ireland, said:

“Suicide is a complex issue which requires action across all sectors of society. Samaritans welcomes the whole-of government approach taken in the strategy as many of the public policies which influence suicidal behaviour are outside the health sector. A coordinated policy response has the potential to address the social and economic factors which impact on suicidal behaviour.

“We also welcome the commitment in the strategy to support suicide prevention in local communities. Much of the most important work to prevent suicide takes place within local communities which must be resourced and supported. The local area plans to be developed as part of the strategy will provide leadership and collaboration at a community level.

We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at national and local level to help deliver the new strategy.”