Mental health charity finds that people traumatised by events in Northern Ireland do not feel free to talk about their experiences.

Over three thousand people in Northern Ireland lost their lives during the Troubles, with many thousands more injured. It is now acknowledged that a large proportion of the population was also emotionally traumatised.

Research conducted by the Belfast based charity Threshold which provides therapeutic support for people suffering with mental health problems has found that people who lived through the years of violence are very reluctant to talk. As clinical psychologist Doctor Raman Kapur explains,

People are terrified to speak openly about what's on their minds.

The scale of mental health needs is reflected by the fact that GPs (general practitioners) prescribe seventy five per cent more tranquilisers and forty per cent more antidepressant drugs in Northern Ireland than in any other comparable region in the Britain.

Medication to treat mental illness are being dispensed to a wide age range, with pharmacists such as Anne Houston acknowledging the effect of a violent history,

It’s bound to have something to do with it, people that have experienced trauma.

Threshold wants to see the creation of safe settings where people can talk about what has happened to them and to,

Develop the skills and expertise to help people that are silently suffering.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 August 2002. The reporter is Brendan Wright.