The Department of Health and the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention are jointly managing the development of a new Strategic Framework for Suicide Prevention, for the period 2015-2018. This Framework will build on and move forward the work being implemented under Reach Out 2005-2014, the present strategy in this area.
The Framework will present the key priorities to be addressed and will guide and be supported by robust implementation plans. The objective in developing the new Framework is to present to the population, based on the best national and international evidence, a set of priority action areas that will contribute to reducing suicide behaviour in Ireland. A Planning Oversight Group, and 5 Advisory Groups reporting to it, have been established to assist in the development of a new Strategic Framework. These groups are being populated with relevant personnel from the HSE, Statutory and NGO sector, and are addressing the areas of Research, Policy, Practice Improvement, Engagement and Communications & Media.
The process of developing the Framework will include a public consultation process, a review of the evidence base for suicide prevention and the commissioning of a review of epidemiological data relating to suicide in Ireland. The new Framework, which will be completed by the end of 2014, will support other relevant Government Policies, including A Vision for Change, Healthy Ireland and the National Substance Misuse Strategy. This renewed focus will provide for improved coordination and integration of services to ensure that pathways of care for persons at risk of suicide or in suicidal crisis can be accessible, acceptable and available.
The role of the HSE National Office for Suicide Prevention is to oversee the implementation of the present suicide prevention strategy and to coordinate suicide prevention initiatives around the country. In this regard, I have asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in relation to the specific measures currently in place for suicide prevention.