Boyd Barrett attributes suicide rate to recession

Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 00:00

The recession is leading to an increased suicide rate, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has said.

“The countries with the highest suicide rate increases were those most affected by the recession, namely, Greece and Ireland.” Mr Boyd Barrett said there was a sense of despair being felt by young people who either could not find work or, in the case of young nurses and teachers, were being treated as second-class citizens and asked to accept 20 per cent or 30 per cent less in salary than people who qualified a few years ago.

“Is it the case that the policies of cuts and austerity, which the Taoiseach is imposing, are leading directly to the sense of despair and hopelessness felt among young people which is leading to this increase in suicide rates?”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he sympathised with families who had lost a member through suicide. “I have visited the homes of many such people and have heard them voice the unspeakable questions of whether they should have noticed something, asked a particular question or done something.”

Mr Kenny said the budget for the National Office for Suicide Prevention had increased from €4.1 million to €8.1 million, adding that an enormous amount of work was being done.