People in deprived areas 3 times more likely to take their lives in Northern Ireland

Date:

People in deprived areas in Northern Ireland are three times more likely to take their lives.  Health minister Edwin Poots said, ‘Unemployment rates in deprived areas further affect people and this is a major concern. Studies indicate that a 1% increase in unemployment is met with a corresponding 0.79% increase in suicide.

“It is therefore important to consider how the adverse psychological impact of redundancy and unemployment might be mitigated.” The Minister continued: “Suicide one of the biggest challenges facing the Executive. In 2010 and 2011, over 600 people took their own lives – this is a startlingly high figure. (1)

These figures are not only a damning indictment of the capitalist system and the Stormont administration and its failure to meet the material and mental needs of the many, but they are coming from the same minister who has endorsed savage killer cuts to healthcare which are eroding patient care and worker’s rights (see- http://www.wsm.ie/c/stormont-healthcare-cuts-tragic-death-hospital-patient)

According to Martin Caraher, professor of food and health policy at London’s City University rising food prices was making the problem of poverty ever more urgent.

He said: "With almost a quarter of people living in poverty in Northern Ireland, coupled with increasing food prices, the issue of food poverty is becoming ever more urgent. This is adding to the decline in health in areas where life expectancy in men can be on average eight years shorter than those living in wealthier areas in Northern Ireland, while for women the gap is five years. Trends suggest that this gap is widening.’ (2)

The one note we must take from these tragic figures is that we need to organise and mobilise to improve our lives, communities and workplaces because fundamental social change is only ever taken not given.

1)http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/print/index/media-centre/news-departments/news-dhssps/news-dhssps-100912-people-living-in.htm

2) http://www.4ni.co.uk/northern_ireland_news.asp?id=14839

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