WE NEED TO APPOINT A MENTAL HEALTH FIGUREHEAD - PRATT

Issued : Tuesday 20 May, 2014

STATEMENT BY CLLR. JOHN PRATT

Labour Party Councillor and local election candidate, Dungarvan-Lismore

Monday, 19th May 2014

WE NEED TO APPOINT A MENTAL HEALTH FIGUREHEAD - PRATT
Labour Councillor and election candidate, John Pratt, says there is a need to appoint a well-known figurehead to champion the national mental health movement, in the same way that Gay Byrne promotes road safety with the RSA.
A well-known disability campaigner, Cllr Pratt said: “More people die in Ireland as a result of suicide than road deaths, but still, when it comes to raising awareness about mental health issues such as depression and suicide, this sector falls behind badly.

“A well-liked public figure, Gay Byrne has done great work as Chair of the Road Safety Authority in raising awareness of the dangers on our roads, and his work has definitely helped to reduce the number of road fatalities in recent times.

“I think the mental health sector needs to do something similar and appoint a well-known name to hold the baton for mental health. This person could front a public awareness campaign aimed at promoting positive mental health, and actively work at reducing the rate of suicides.

“I would envisage that this person would come from the sporting or cultural world, and who has the ability to connect with people because they have publicly spoken about their own struggles with mental health in the past – someone like Conor Cusack, or Bressie.

“I am writing to the Minister for Health James Reilly, and to my colleague, Kathleen Lynch, who has responsibility for mental health, to outline my proposal to them. I think it is a simple but strong idea that would do much to tackle the scourge of depression and suicide across our country, and would help communicate the message to vulnerable people that there is help and support out there.”

ENDS

For more information contact John Pratt on 087 769 2960

Mayor John Pratt


Constituency:
Ireland - South : Waterford : Lismore
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Tallow
Co. Waterford.
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