“Support for Suicide Prevention Authority” press Release 17th July 2012

17th July 2012

                                                “Support for Suicide Prevention Authority” 

The Irish Patients Association welcomes the call by the organisation “Turn the Tide of Suicide” for the establishment of a Suicide Prevention Authority, similar to Road Safety Authority. It is unacceptable that so many people had made contact with the healthcare system 12 months prior to their Death. The National Suicide Research Foundation report published yesterday stated  “The fact that the majority of people who died by suicide had been in contact with their GP 4 times or more in the year prior to death provides evidence for increased suicide awareness and skills training for GPs.”  Stephen McMahon Chairman of Irish Patients Association said “There is an urgent need in the Interests of Patient Safety for the relevant healthcare professional  educational bodies to urgently address their constituent’s awareness and competitencies in the area of suicide prevention.”

 In a publication of “Let’s Talk Suicide” ,recently distributed through community pharmacies by the Irish Patients Association McMahon recalled  “As a patient advocate, and co-founder of the Irish Patients’ Association, I recall many years ago how someone close to me nearly died at their own hand, not because the patient wasn’t connected to the system, but because a registrar was not contactable to conduct an assessment prior to a day release. The reason the doctor was not contactable was that a 50c battery was dead in the Bleeper, so a nurse made the call to discharge the patient.  That 50c could have saved so much in human terms; however there is learning from that event


Link to booklet http://irishpatients.ie/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Lets-talk-Suicide.pdf