Mental health and suicide impact many of us at some point in our lives. Everyone ‘has’ mental health and yet it often takes a back seat to general health and fitness, both personally and at a statutory level.
In Ireland, more people die by suicide than die on our roads, yet mental health services are under-funded. As a result, there are large gaps in statutory services that are plugged by the voluntary sector. Sadly, these gaps in services can cost lives.
Since its inception, 3TS has been an advocate for those who struggle with mental health or who are impacted by suicide. We have consistently called for change – change in societal attitudes and improvements in funding and service provision.
Our primary advocacy focus areas are:
- Reduction of stigma around mental ill health and suicide.
- Increased investment and improvements in statutory mental health services and supports.
- Implementation of national suicide prevention and mental health strategies, “Connecting for Life”, “Vision for Change” and “Sharing the Vision”.
- Establishment of a system for comprehensive, accurate and up to date data on suicide in Ireland.
- Establishment of a Suicide Prevention Authority
- Establishment of 24/7 Crisis centres
- When 3Ts was founded in 2003, suicide and mental illness were taboo. Suicide/attempted suicide was decriminalised in 1994 but until then had been a criminal act. As a result mental ill health and suicide were still not openly discussed. 3Ts were among the first groups to open-up this discussion and raise awareness of the issue.
Nowadays, that stigma has reduced. More people are open about their mental health and the conversation has never been more prevalent across mainstream and social media. Whilst some stigma remains, 3Ts now focus on raising awareness of the help and support that is available to assist those who are struggling through their tough times.
Our focus is informed by international and Irish research. 3Ts commissions innovative research projects which help provide the evidence base to our advocacy work and which we hope will help inform future suicide prevention strategies. Our most current research has completed Phase 1 and will commence Phase 2 in the coming months:
- Accessing Help for Self-Harm & Suicidal Behaviour in the Emergency Dept is 3Ts funded research in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin. This research has helped inform our call for 24/7 crisis centres as an alternative to A&E for those presenting with suicidal behaviours and self-harm. Learn more about previous 3Ts funded research here.
3Ts advocacy partners include:
- See Change: Ireland’s organisation dedicated to ending mental health stigma.
- Mens’ Health Week: 3Ts are members of the planning executive and campaign advocates for mens’ mental health.
- Mental Health Reform: 3Ts are members of MHR, national coalition of organisations campaigning to transform mental health and well-being supports in Ireland.
- Action on Suicide Alliance: In 2006, 3Ts founded this 12-member lobby organization and forerunner to Mental Health Reform. Having since disbanded, the Alliance paved the way for the establishment Mental Health Reform.
Please see details below of some of our recent advocacy campaigns and further information on how you can get involved.