A number of suicides among young people in Co Kildare within weeks comes at a time when a Newbridge based charity sees a sharp rise in people seeking counselling.
Chairwoman for Hope(d), Terri Thorpe, reports that already this year, 114 people have sought assistance, while throughout all of last year, 170 people attended their services.
Hope(d), based at Henry St, Newbridge, provides affordable counselling and assistance to people impacted by mental health issues, along with their families.
Increasingly, Ms Thorpe is getting calls to assist children, with the youngest attending their services 12 years old.
Ms Thorpe said: “25% attending our services are underage.”
She is calling for the development of mental health services in all primary schools.
Ms Thorpe says that young people are ‘very receptive’ and ‘are absorbing what they are immersed in.’
She said: “They are very sensitive souls, there are a lot of negative stories on the news, they can absorb all of this, and then not fitting in during classes, it can be a very lonely place.”
New research published by Laya Healthcare parents of school children aged five – 12 years reveals that the majority (91%) want mental health first aid training to be provided to teachers in Leinster schools, with one in ten parents describing their child’s emotional health as ‘poor’ or ‘fair’.
A key finding among the 500 parents is that children under 12 years are spending twice as much time viewing screens than playing outside, 23 hours screen time versus 11 hours a week outside.
According to parents, nearly half (49%) of all Leinster primary school children own their own tablet and one in three (34 %) have their own mobile phone.
Not fitting in a huge factor in depression for both adults and children, says Ms Thorpe.
She said:”There are a lot of things that will affect us, but it is how we react. A big thing is relationships, divorce or separation, bereavement, it is about interaction with human beings, this can be negative or positive."
Contact Hope(d) on 1800 855 824 or 087/ 1513535
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