Y.A.N.A, a Galway campaign in support of prevention against suicide has said that the number of suicides registered in Ireland has increased to over 600 in 2012, a rise of 7 percent from the previous year, with experts estimating that up to a 1000 people will have committed suicide in 2013.
A total of 439 men and 86 women were recorded as having taken their own lives, the
majority of whom were teenagers. For most young people the reasons for taking their own lives were bullying, cyber bullying and mental health issues.
The campaign, promoted by well known Irish figures such as Hector Ó hEochagáin and Paraic Breathnach, asks the public to support the ‘You Are Never Alone’ campaign. In the latest campaign video, a range of familiar Irish faces tell the audience some hard truths such as the fact that suicide is the leading cause of death among young people with the rate of suicide in Ireland being the fifth highest in Europe.
According to RTE.ie, the recent spike in suicide rates coincides with the economic downturn and rising unemployment with factors like income pressures, family and peer relationship problems, school failure and low self esteem. In light of this new knowledge, the government are also set to launch a national suicide prevention campaign which will target specific groups.
Following the ‘Young Men and Suicide Report’ which was launched at the Royal Irish Academy on 23 January 2013, TD Minister of State Kathleen Lynch said that she plans to tackle suicide with a forthright national public awareness campaign, saying: “We need to get involved in relation to a massive public information campaign, specifically geared towards particular groups and it has to be in your face. We’ve gone past the notion of not speaking about it.”
Y.A.N.A tells us that the number of people taking their own lives has far surpassed those who have died by road accidents, drugs and violent deaths. Y.A.N.A in particular supports those young people suffering from bullying, cyber-bullying and other mental and emotional issues. The west of Ireland campaign asks for support and understanding, firmly stating: “You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it”.
The video was shot in Galway city and county by VTOS Film and Television studies students to raise awareness about bullying and teen suicide. Among the public figures who took part were: Hector Ó hEochagáin (RTE Radio), Kate O'Toole (The Tudors, daughter of legend Peter), John O'Dowd (Moone Boy), Linda Breathnach (Ros Na Run), Layla Flaherty (Desperate Scousewives), Ronan Scully (Operation Transformation), Eamonn Draper (The Clinic) and Paraic Breathnach (Killinaskully).
Irish-American band ‘Friends of Emmet’ provided the music for the Y.A.N.A. video and will be giving all proceeds from the single to relevant charities. Their song, ‘Coming Apart’, is a tribute to Kevin Hines who attempted to take his own life at the age of 19 by jumping of the Golden Gate Bridge and survived.
See the Y.A.N.A campaign video below: