2/26/2007

Stigma needs to be removed

The NSPCC is calling for the British government to significantly upgrade counselling services for young people in the Six Counties.



The demand comes as the charity revealed 140 young girls here rang Childline worried about suicide.And of the 12,000 children who contacted the charity last year 550 youngsters, some of them only eight years old, wanted advice about mental health problems.

However, each year more young men than girls take their own lives and the charity wants more support to help to break their silence and seek support.

There were 645 reported deaths by suicide across Ireland in the year 2004 to 2005. The death toll from suicide is greater than the number of people killed in traffic accidents in the same period.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP today praised the efforts of all those, but especially the families, who are working hard to raise awareness around the increasing problem of suicide.

Gerry will today launch the 'Reaching Out' campaign at the start of Suicide Awareness Week on the Whiterock Road. The campaign has been organised by the Westrock Parent and Youth Support Group.

He said that "Because this is an all-Ireland problem it requires an all-Ireland strategic approach"

"Specifically it should be made an area of co-operation under the auspices of the North-South Ministerial Council. This should be an issue of priority for the Irish Minister for Health Ms Harney and the current British direct rule Minister Paul Goggins, or his local successor in the event of the Executive being re-established."

I believe that more needs to be done to remove the stigma that surrounds counselling, with young males in particular.

I myself have went to counselling, it was at a time in my life when I was going through a bad time because of my parents seperation.
It is nothing to be ashamed of, why the need to suffer in silence?

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