Fianna Fáil Health Spokesman Billy Kelleher has expressed concern at reports that the director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention, Mr. Geoff Day, could consider his position in light of resource issues at the organisation.

Deputy Kelleher said: “I am extremely worried about the reports today that Mr. Day and others in his office are under extreme pressure in light of the demand on their services and a lengthy vacancy in an administrative post at the organisation.”

“I will be raising this issue with Minister James Reilly at the earliest possible convenience.  Information available in the reports today suggests there has been significant difficulty within the HSE in ensuring that the vacant post at the Office for Suicide Prevention is filled from within the HSE’s existing staff base.”

“We need flexibility in our health and social services if services are to be maintained to the public and to avoid very important services being under strain to the extent that they cannot provide a service at all.”

“The issue of suicide is extremely serious and must be addressed in our society.  It is also sadly a growing problem.  More resources were provided last year to tackle this issue.  What the Minister must ensure now is that the manpower is provided to the National Office for Suicide Prevention to ensure it can continue to provide services and help organisations working with people in very difficult circumstances,” concluded Deputy Kelleher.