Young Fine Gael (YFG) have today called on the Government to implement a proactive nationwide campaign modelled on the Northern Ireland ‘Rethink’ campaign addressing the stigma and taboo relating to mental illness, depression and suicide.
“Rethink, which is mainly Government funded, uses a TV advertisement with a high profile celebrity from Coronation Street (‘Steve McDonald’ / Simon Gregson) to show that mental health is an illness like any other and should not be stigmatised”, according to YFG President, Elizabeth Munnelly.
“A high profile campaign here will encourage young people to seek help and advice. One in four Irish people will suffer some form of mental illness during their lifetime. Suicide accounts for 3 out of every 10 deaths in the 15-24 age group and is the most common cause of death in young males. In 2004 11,200 presented at A&E having deliberately self-harmed.
“Every 45 minutes another Irish person attempts suicide. Our Government needs to wake up and realise that young people’s issues are not trivial but serious and need to be tackled urgently,” said Munnelly.
Its is an excellent campaign.