A Waterford-based traveller representative group says that issues around isolation, living conditions and education are having a major impact on mental health among the community.
A recent National Community Survey found that travellers in Munster are the worst affected by suicide and mental health problems.
4 in 10 travellers who responded to the survey in Munster had a case of suicide in their immediate family, while over half said they had experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Niall Devereaux Men’s Health liaison with the Waterford Traveller CDP said: ” 1 in 4 traveller men are after trying to die by suicide and one in five families would have someone directly involved in suicide.”
According to the representative, it affects the whole family and community because everybody within that community is some way related.
“If you look at where halting sites are actually put, they are out of the way, closed up, there’s a six-foot wall around them and conditions are not great.”
“There is no place for kids to play or facilities for children after school to express themselves,” the Mental Health Liason concluded.