Sinn Féin spokesperson on Mental Health Mark Ward TD has urged the government to be proactive and not reactive after a report revealed the high rate of suicides among young women in the Ballyfermot, Clondalkin, Palmerstown and Tallaght areas last year.
Responding to an article in The Irish Times, Teachta Ward said:
“The report of a cluster of suicides among young women in Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tallaght last year is very worrying.
“The fact that the HSE investigation has linked these deaths to the housing crisis, domestic violence, social media and recreational drug use is a clear message to government to act.
“Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tallaght are traditionally disadvantaged areas with high levels of poverty.
“As someone who talks to people everyday who are affected by the housing crisis, I am not surprised to see this as one of the leading issues in the tragic deaths of these young women.
“Government policies over many years have had a detrimental impact on people’s well-being. Not having a secure and safe place to call home is one of the basic needs that we have as human beings.
“The HSE ordered a rapid assessment and community response to suicide and suspected suicide in Dublin South.
“The female suicide rate is three times the national average since 2015, but it was the deaths of eight women in their 20s and early 30s over a 10-week period that prompted the report.
“While the report did not go into the individual reasons for these deaths, when you take the overall context, there is a clear pattern connecting these deaths to the housing crisis, domestic violence, social media and recreational drug use.
“The National Office of Suicide Prevention have compiled a comprehensive report into the spate of suicides and it is important that lessons are learned from it .
“The government needs to have a proactive response to this report and put in place supports, services and policies that will stop clusters of suicides occurring again.
“I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to all the families of these young women, and to anyone who has lost someone to suicide.”