Landmarks turn orange for World Suicide Prevention Day

Study finds 47% of Irish people consider those with mental health issues untrustworthy

Aoife Roche, campaign organiser Aisling Riordan and rugby analyst Brent Pope at the Mansion House for the launch of the light up Ireland in orange campaign for World Suicide Prevention Day. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Aoife Roche, campaign organiser Aisling Riordan and rugby analyst Brent Pope at the Mansion House for the launch of the light up Ireland in orange campaign for World Suicide Prevention Day. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

 

Buildings around the country will turn orange on Thursday to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.

Grafton Street, Trinity College Dublin, Croke Park, Cork City Hall, Kilkenny Castle and Belfast City Hall are among the landmarks that will be lighting up as part of the campaign.

Members of the public have been encouraged to switch on an orange coloured light bulb in their homes at 9pm to show their support for the initiative.

Campaign organisers have asked people to share pictures of themselves wearing something orange on social media using the hashtag #LetsGoOrange and #BreakTheCycle to support the initiative.

Research by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services published on Thursday has found nearly half of Irish people think people with mental health issues are untrustworthy.

Some 47 per cent of respondents said they believe people with mental health issues are untrustworthy, while nearly one-third would not trust someone with a previous mental health problem to babysit.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams called for the creation of an all-Ireland suicide prevention agency to tackle the issue.

“According to the most recent statistics available for suicide in this state, 459 persons – 368 males and 91 females – took their own lives in 2014,” said Mr Adams.

Michele Kerrigan chief executive of mental health organisation Grow said the Government needs to invest more in community-based mental health services.

“If they don’t these services will face another crisis similar to that in homelessness currently and emergency departments earlier in the year,” she said.

“There are people suffering right now as we speak who have nowhere to turn for help, and more tragically there have been lives lost because they were either too scared to speak up or did not know where to turn for help.”