THIS country has the highest rate of suicide in Europe. The deaths by suicide reported in the media over the last six months have opened all our eyes.
SOSAD (Save Our Sons and Daughters) is a voluntary organisation which is trying to help people and prevent them from taking their own lives.
As the co-ordinator of the Dundalk branch, Davina Shorthall, points out in this paper this week, SOSAD tries to provide the best possible care and support to anyone affected by suicide or depression.
They offer professional help, confidentially, and most importantly show people that they are not alone.
There is still a stigma surrounding mental health issues, but efforts have been made by many high profile people to tackle this problem.
The television presenter Ruby Wax, who is also a psychotherapist, has spoken about her experience of depression. Alastair Campbell, who was Tony Blair’s PR has also spoken about his problems.
These people have been highly praised, and rightly so, for their honesty and courage. They show ordinary people, especially young men who figure high in the suicide statistics, that highly successful people are just as vulnerable and as human as the rest of us and it is nothing to be ashamed of.
As Alastair Campbel said: “It’s not one-in-four of us who will suffer menatl health issues, it’s one-in-one”.
Dundalk@sosadireland.ie Phone 042 9327311.