ABC Council Armagh Community Constituency Council Election 2023 Elections Government Health Newry and Armagh

O’Neill: We Must Tackle Stigma Around Self-Harm

SDLP Mental Health Spokesperson councillor Gráinne O’Neill has said that more must be done to tackle the stigma around self-harm.

She was speaking after the publication of a study from Samaritans Ireland into attitudes towards self-harm on the island.

It found that the stigma towards people who self-harm impacted their lives in a number of negative ways.

Councillor O’Neill said:

“This study lays bare the impact that the stigma around self-harm is having on the lives of people suffering with severe mental health conditions. To be in a position where somebody decides to self-harm indicates the struggle they are facing with their mental health and for this to negatively impact other facets of their life shows the challenges they face as a result.

“We also need to see a shift in the way the general public treat people with mental health problems. Anyone who is struggling should be treated with empathy and compassion, not judgement to the point where they are being refused jobs, places to live and excluded from playing a part in society in other ways.

“People who are struggling with self-harm require medical treatment to help them deal with their issues and get to a place where they no longer feel the need to harm themselves, this journey will be much more difficult if they feel that they are isolated as a result of their self-harming. The SDLP supports the Samaritans call for education programmes in schools, universities and workplaces and training for professionals to help reduce the stigma and support people who are going through self-harm.”


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