Press Release- Bríd Smith TD, People Before Profit 21/05/2018
Brid Smith TD for Dublin South Central has said that figures for suicide rates among young mothers in Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tallaght are shocking and the bitter fruits of successive Government’s policies.
The figures show that mothers in their 20s and 30s, with small children, represented half of the suicides in these areas, some 37 in all.
This is unusual in terms of national trends which tend to show much higher rates of suicide rates among men.
Brid Smith said that this cohort of women has been badly let down by Government policies and the consequent pressures in society.
“Lone parents have been consistently targeted for cuts in payments and benefits over the years of austerity and vulnerable groups like these have never been a priority forGovernments. During the crash, supports that affected them and their children were seen as “the low hanging fruit” to be cut. Now during the recovery, critical services are still underfunded and under-resourced.”
“The shocking truth is that mental health services have been continuously under threat. For example, the number of beds in the Camhs (Child and Adolescent Mental Health services) in Cherry Orchard was cut in half last summer. Meanwhile, many families in the areas are facing eviction or living in unsuitable, often overcrowded accommodation. The level of mental distress this is causing is enormous and young mothers are at the sharp end of that distress.”
The TD said she was tired of lip service about mental health from Government spokespersons: “We need less rhetoric and real action. We need real interventions that target vulnerable groups like these young mothers with outreach programs and real supports in the community that can alleviate poverty and low incomes.
“If the Government want to address this then they need to fund initiatives that could provide round the clock local mental health services, viable shelter and refuge for victims of domestic abuse, sufficient drug and addiction services and treatment at a local level and removal of the fear of homelessness and insecure accommodation.”
Contact- Bríd Smith TD- 087 909 0166
Nick Lee (Press Officer)- 087 615 6473