Book highlights 'taboo' issue of suicide in Ireland

 

The Irish attitude to suicide must change, a foremost authority on mental health has said.

Dr Fiona Weldon, clinical director of the Rutland Centre in Dublin, said that suicide still being a “taboo” issue was contributing to high levels of suicide in this country.

Speaking ahead of the opening of an exhibition of poems on addiction and recovery, titled Soul Burgers, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, she said feeling suicidal was a universal experience.

“Our attitude to suicide has to change. It is vital that we recognise that feeling suicidal is a universal human experience – it is okay to say you feel like giving up.

“Feeling isolated and ashamed about having suicidal thoughts only causes more pain, often leading people to act on their thoughts of suicide.

“Suicidal thoughts often [indicate] a desire to end the pain, not end the life.”

Of the admissions to the Rutland Centre last year 25 per cent were suicidal, she said and those with alcohol addiction had the highest levels of depression and anxiety. Soul Burgers is a collection of poems by Christina Reihill, charting her journey from feeling suicidal to recovery.