Politics and Suicide Prevention
Deaglán de Bréadún
It is fair to say that politicians on all sides admire the work of Fine Gael TD Dan Neville and Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White on suicide and the need to raise awareness about the issue. When I was a youngster, you rarely if ever heard of anyone taking his or her own life. I am sure it went on but was probably hushed-up.
In those days, suicide victims were refused burial in consecrated ground, which must have added greatly to the distress of their relatives.
There is a very sad story on the news today about leading British fashion designer Alexander McQueen (40). He died shortly after his mother had passed away. Police are not treating the death as suspicious but it has not been definitely established that it was suicide. Click here.
To someone such as myself it is very difficult to undersand how someone can turn away from the myriad joys of life and voluntarily step through the door to eternity.
However, I have a suspicion that the action is not seen as voluntary and that some mental imperative is at work with these tragic individuals. Some issue has arisen or maybe there was a traumatic episode in the past which “mandates” the victim, as it were, to bring an end to it all.
I have known very few suicide victims but they were people in the prime of life who had a lot going for them and much to be joyous about, when some twist of fate put them on the path to self-destructi0n.
Am I right in thinking that suicide has increased vastly in this country with our recent prosperity or was it the case that the figures were suppressed in the past? It has been said that when people no longer need to struggle to exist then they start to question the need for existence in the first place.