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LETTER: We need to keep hope alive for those in pain

May 14th, 2017 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – Suicide is a terrible family tragedy and I have the highest respect for victims and relatives alike. But it always strikes me as odd that organisations collecting millions of euros with regard to suicide prevention can claim their input, insofar as doing what they see as vital intervention, could – through no fault of their own – be misguided, because mental distress is unique to each person, and it requires delicate approaches, with the families a priority. 

Our personal GPs and psychiatric references can help more that any well-meaning body which seems to believe money can work miracles. Easy to suppose and the privacy of the individual must be respected in a way which is always sensitive and personal.

Suicide will always, sadly, be with us and so much money collected on behalf of those who may think about self-harming in this way, leaves me wondering how charities with lots of money donated by the public can help?

It is not a money issue, which others may accumulate in the hope of alleviating the fears of suicide, which is a priority of the suffering, and to hope that kind yet uneducated opinions on the matter, boosted by a healthy bank balance and salaried staff, is suitable of itself, is debatable. 

The claims that taking one’s own life could be headed off by collections of donations, generously given, is missing the point completely. Suicide is part of life and most will already be aware of the dangers of contemplating the end. 

The more it is highlighted, especially along the lines of financial grounds to prevent it, the more people are likely to dwell on the negative, as vast sums of money have little to do with saving the suicidal. All we can do is to keep hope alive – this requires a good heart with which to pass on that message to those in pain.

Robert Sullivan,

Bantry.

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