3TS Call for a 24/7 Suicide Prevention & Self Harm Crisis Centre
In Ireland, for someone in suicidal crisis or who self-harms, the quickest pathway to professional help is through A&E. And yet, a busy emergency department is not the ideal environment for someone who is at their most vulnerable. There needs to be an alternative. Research supports the need for a dedicated 24/7 Suicide Prevention & Self Harm Crisis Unit that runs alongside every A&E unit in Ireland.
3Ts would love to see a service in place that is:
- Dedicated to Suicide Prevention & Self Harm Crises
- Available to anyone who feels in immediate danger of suicide or self-harm
- Equipped to provide the required psychiatric / psychological assistance to 'help them in that instant'
- Equipped to provide medical help if required via qualified medical staff .
- Connected to further supports, linking up and co-ordinating with designated suicide prevention services - state, private and voluntary to provide care in the short to long term as required.
- Supported by a 24/7 Helpline
Major research recommends 24/7 mental health crisis centres
- My Voice Matters: Report on a National Consultation with Mental Health Service Users - O Feich, Padraig and Mitchell, Kate and Perez, Sergio and McDaid, Shari (2019): This major national study carried out by Mental Health Reform identified the need for specialist 24/7 crisis services to eliminate the requirement to present at busy Emergency Departments when distressed or suicidal. For more information or to read the report executive summary, click here.
Accessing Help for Self Harm & Suicidal Behaviour in the Emergency Department - Doyle, Louise and Keogh, Brian and Morris, Noreen and Higgins, Agnes and Downes, Carmel (2020): Our own 3TS funded research conducted by TCD also supports this call. Phase 1 of this qualitative study ‘Accessing Help for Self-Harm and Suicidal Behaviour in the Emergency Department’ was based solely on the experience of service users. The report recommended that a 24/7 crisis mental health support service is required. This would allow those who present in mental health crisis to be assessed and treated by mental health professionals in a mental health specific setting. Phase 2 of this study will look at the experience of carers and family members of those attending A&E for suicidal behaviours & self harm. To learn more about Phase 1 & 2 or to download the full report for Phase 1, see here.