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Suicides warning

MENTAL health professionals have warned that HSE cuts to patients' medical expenses will lead to a rise in suicide in Ireland.

Dublin-based psychologist Owen Connolly warned that if psychiatric patients have to fork out up to €120 every month for vital medication, some may not be able to cope.

On November 1, long-term psychiatric patients in the eastern region of the HSE will have to find an extra €1,440 a year for their vital medication -- because the HSE says it is bringing "equality" into the system.

But Mr Connolly told the Herald: "If they can't get their medication, they'll end their lives and there will be a rise in suicide."

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the move was to improve equity for service users and increase efficiency.

hnews@herald.ie