by Alan Jacques
A MENTAL health policy evening takes place at the Savoy Hotel this Thursday, November 12 at 6pm in the hope of creating effective and constructive solutions to Limerick’s suicide and self-harm crisis.
Organised by Social Democrat general election candidate for Limerick City, Sarah Jane Hennelly, the event is open to anyone interested or involved in mental health to share their insight or experiences on how to tackle the dual problems of mental health and suicide.
“Limerick City has the second highest suicide rate in the country. We have the highest level of female self-harm in the country. A range of factors can lead to someone in crisis — from illness to unemployment and lack of opportunities,” she explained.
“To date, we have received very little political leadership on this. In the last budget, zero funding was allocated to mental health. There is a major need to address this issue and create a strategy/policy which looks to the future. Our party’s vision is to create a country that places well-being and quality of life centrally in public policy making,” she added.
“In this city, there are many groups and individuals working hard to address this, this event will give us a unified voice and policy which will help us to influence change at a political and decision-making level.
“This will be the first initiative of it’s kind where a city comes together to create effective and constructive solutions to a mental health crisis. Based on collaboration, this evening will be structured around key areas such as services, accessibility, resources; and will give people the opportunity to constructively engage in idea generation around how we, as a community, can tackle our city’s mental health,” Ms Hennelly concluded.