Help available to those contemplating suicide

Dear Editor,

Suicide statistics are back in the news. It’s a subject that is never far from our minds.

There’s scarcely a person in the country that hasn’t been affected by it, whether by losing a close friend or family member to the tragedy, or just by hearing about someone we know who has chosen to end his or her life.

I think we need to be far more open about this issue. We have had enough of taboos in this country. There needs to be more frank discussion among people of all age groups.

We need to look out for people we know and offer support in times of crisis or if we feel that the person is suffering in silence.

While we should always honour the memories of loved ones who go by suicide, we owe it to ourselves and our fellow human beings; and indeed to the person whose loss we grieve, to make a genuine effort to prevent further such tragedies.

A decision to end one’s life has implications not just for oneself but for many people close to us that we definitely wouldn’t wish to hurt, and yet it is an inescapable fact that their lives will be devastated as a direct consequence of our own personal decision.

Researchers into Near Death Experiences (NDEs), where people declared clinically dead are revived, report that patients who survive attempted suicide invariably say they are glad they failed in the attempt.

Without getting into the debate as to whether NDEs provide proof of life after death, I think it is significant that these fortunate people, after being pulled back from the brink, say that suicide wasn’t a good idea!

The slogan that ‘help is only a phone call away’ is literally true. No situation is beyond repair and there really are people ready to help

Life is precious, not just our own, but that of every person who will suffer if we end our life prematurely.

So let’s remember all the people who died by suicide, while at the same time knowing and acknowledging the most important fact about suicide – that it’s never worth it.

Yours Sincerely,

John Fitzgerald,

Lower Coyne Street,

Callan,

Co Kilkenny.

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